Schwartz: Sun to 'operate independently' until deal is done

With closure months away, will Oracle CEO Larry Ellison stay on the sidelines until then?

Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Jonathan Schwartz called it "one of the toughest e-mails I've ever had to write" when he told Sun's employees that Oracle was buying the company.

"I do not consider the announcement to be the end of the road, not by any stretch of the imagination," Schwartz wrote. "I believe this is the first step down a different path, one that takes us and our innovations to an even broader market, one that ensures the ubiquitous role we play in the world around us."

Sent out to employees on Monday, Schwartz's e-mail was published today in The Wall Street Journal. A Sun representative confirmed that it is authentic.

The e-mail doesn't hint at the fate of Sun's technology or it employees under Oracle. But he does promise to continue Sun as a separate company, "operating independently" until Oracle's acquisition is completed.

Sun is still planning to roll out new technologies, but whether it can operate free of Oracle's and CEO Larry Ellison's influence over the next few months before the deal is closed is another matter.

Don't count on Ellison to be hands off, said Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT Inc. "I would expect Larry's hand to be pretty heavy on the tiller."

King said he imagines Oracle will be "offering guidance on places that they might be able to work together closely."

But Ellison will have to avoid attempting to dominate the firm in ways that make either Sun employees or partners uncomfortable, King said. "Sun clearly is a company that prizes its independence and, frankly, I don't know how some people at Sun will respond to be a nonautonomous division at Oracle."

Schwartz's e-mail reads in the same conversational tone he adopted for his blog, which he has been writing since 2004. Sun encouraged employees to blog as well, creating a community for them and a live feed engine that displays recent posts.

Shortly after the announcement, one employee offered some reaction to the Oracle deal in his blog, Mousebits: Bart Muijzer's Blog. It began with a disclaimer that the opinion was entirely his. He wrote: "Is it a Good Thing or Bad Thing to work for Oracle? I don't know, honestly. When I joined Sun almost 10 years ago, I choose to work for Sun, not Oracle. Since then, I've come to really, really love Sun. Sun is deeply in my system. My blood is purple, so to speak. I love the things we innovated. I love the kind of people who're working at Sun: open-minded, gentle, bright, stubborn, convinced of what we do is right."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Oracle-Sun mergerJonathan SchwartzSun Microsystemslarry ellisonOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?