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MySQL daddy quitting Sun?

'Technically, there is no resignation letter'

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MySQL co-founder Michael "Monty" Widenius may quit Sun Microsystems, less than seven months after Sun paid $1bn for his free database outfit.

Yesterday, Valleywag reported that Monty - the primary architect of the original MySQL database - had resigned from the company, and though a MySQL marketing genius called the news "a rumour", he went on to say he could "neither confirm nor deny".

"First, it's a rumour. Technically there is no resignation letter. However, I spoke to Monty yesterday, and yes, resignation is an option he considers," reads a blog post from Kaj Arnö, MySQL vice president for spin community relations.

And he insists this has nothing to do with Sun. "Second, Monty’s resignation has been a possible outcome already since years before the Sun acquisition. Perhaps his resignation at some point is inevitable, given that the type of skills and qualities needed to make MySQL great are different from those needed for working productively in a larger organisation (and I am referring to the size of the MySQL team, not Sun)."

According to Arnö, Widenius has spent the past "several years" contemplating a move that would allow him to concentrate on engineering the MySQL server. But the fact remains that after several years, he hasn't actually made the move. Until now. Possibly.

Or is that definitely? Arnö's blog post reads an awful lot like a we-promise-we'll-be-ok-without-him letter:

Should Monty indeed leave MySQL, it would signal the dawn of a new era. Over the last several years, we have developed our engineering team to be independent of single persons — including Monty. Naturally, the value that Monty as a core member has provided has been enormous, but at the same time we have tried to make sure that we have backups and stand-ins. We are not done with that work, but we’re getting in shape.

Monty leaving us would be a sad moment in that it changes a model we have been working under for the last 13 years. At the same time I’m sure we’ll continue to work with Monty and turn to him as a superb expert in key areas of technology.

But the continued exodus of MySQL bigwigs is sure to concern the company's customers. Late last month, the longtime head of MySQL's Japan business, Larry Stefonic, quit after five years with the outfit.

Sun did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ®

Update

Sun has responded. In a statement, it said that it doesn't comment on such matters. And then it did. "Sun has a policy of not commenting on personnel matters and the Company does not respond to rumors or speculation in the marketplace. As any public Company, we issue announcements concerning executive and officer appointments when necessary and appropriate. Sun can confirm that MySQL AB co-founder, Michael 'Monty' Widenius, is currently an employee of Sun Labs."

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