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Sun's sales stud defects to HP

Emerging Markets counter offensive initiated

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Sun Microsystems has performed a sales shakeup in a bid to add some new life to its server business.

The company today tapped Peter Ryan as its sales and services chief. Ryan replaces Don Grantham, who was seen as quite the star at Sun. In addition, Sun has created a new Emerging Markets "sales geography," which will be tasked with teaching the up and comers out there who put the dot in dot-com.

(Your reporter ran into Grantham just a couple of weeks ago at a Silicon Valley grocery store, but the wonder veep didn't do me any favors as far as hinting at his planned departure. Come on, Don. I thought we shared a special moment over that sandwich.)

According to Sun chief Jonathan Schwartz's blog, Grantham will be heading to crosstown rival HP. "Don's leaving Sun to help HP secure a Solaris license before their EDS transaction closes," Schwartz wrote.

Nice jab.

We called Sun for more information, but, of course, did not receive a call back. Sun has this great telephone system in place where it will try and locate the "access line" of an employee. This means that the system tries to find the person at their desk or cell phone. In the last few years, the "access line" has found a Sun public relations representative about two times in our experience.

HP, meanwhile, has people that actually answer their phones and confirms that Grantham has taken over as HP's sales chief.

Anyway, Denis Heraud, Sun's VP for the Asia Pacific region, will run the new Emerging Markets group. He'll be racking up the miles in South and Eastern Europe, Latin America, India and China.

Sun has done okay from a revenue perspective over the past couple years but has suffered from sagging shipments. So, it could use some fresh business in these emerging markets to help get things moving in the right direction. ®

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