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Sun McNealy's pay down 98% this year

Lean times for IT bosses

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Sun Microsystems boss Scott McNealy expects to receive only his basic salary this year, as the slowdown in the IT market means top execs will have to forgo their usual stratospheric bonuses.

Today's Financial Times reports that McNealy, who received a $4.7m bonus last year will receive nothing this year. "I'm basically working for $100,000."

McNealy can still consider himself fortunate compared to his peers. Cisco chief executive, John Chambers, cut his salary to $1 as a symbolic gesture to reflect the pain he felt at disappointing investors - and slashing 8,500 jobs.

Sun is one of the few high technology firms that hasn't shed jobs during the current slowdown in IT spending and McNealy has made preserving jobs, if necessary through radical cost cutting measures, a priority.

In the first week of July all but essential Sun staffers will be asked to take holidays or unpaid leave. The move part of a program of cost-cutting measures announced after Sun last month reported pro forma net income for its third quarter was down 43 per cent on declining sales.

Speaking during a two day meeting of chief executives in West Virginia, McNealy indicated he was hopeful Sun's revenues would rebound in 2002 but said IT firms could, at best, only guess at future demand. He said it's getting harder to spot trends and suggested any talk that the industry has seen the worst of a slowdown in spending is premature.

McNealy said: "People are claiming that they're seeing the bottom. I don't know where they're getting that data. They certainly didn't see the cliff, so how in the world can they see the bottom?" ®

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