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Sun's services queen jumps ship for Salesforce.com

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In a surprising move, Sun Microsystems' head of services Pat Sueltz has fled the company to work for a Sun partner - Salesforce.com.

Sueltz will take on the role of president of marketing, technology and systems at Salesforce.com. For the time being, Marissa Peterson, chief customer advocate and executive vice president at Sun, will take on Sueltz's role.

"Pat has played an important role in transforming Sun Services' model to deliver system solutions and complete life-cycle services to our customers," said Scott McNealy, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Sun. "We wish Pat well in her new venture and look forward to continuing our relationship with her, in her upcoming role as a partner and customer of Sun."

This is an odd move for Sueltz given her success in boosting Sun's services business and self-proclaimed joy working for the company. Sueltz is an ex-IBMer who left Big Blue to work on Sun's software efforts only to be moved to services during a massive employee restructuring.

In an interview last year, Sueltz told El Reg that she was totally committed to the company. In addition, Register sources indicate that Sun was on the verge of promoting Sueltz in the public eye like never before. My how fast things change.

Salesforce.com is both a Sun partner and customer, using Sun gear to run its CRM software service provider operation. Interestingly, Salesforce.com just announced a deal with IBM to create stronger ties between the two companies' products.

Sueltz's Sun bio is still warm here. She is a charmer and sure to be an asset at Salesforce.com. ®

*Sueltz's departure from IBM happened in a pretty comic way. Her admin left a note on Sueltz's door, saying Ed Zander, then president of Sun, had called. By the time Sueltz returned to her office, the word was out. Anyone at Sun see a note?

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