Sun taps ex-Merrill, ex-Fannie Mae exec for board
Meltdown trickle down
If you were an investment management firm with a big stake in Sun Microsystems, and if you had arranged with the IT vendor to get two independent board members added to the board of directors, where would you look for them?
Fannie Mae? Merrill Lynch, perhaps?
You might think not, but these are the organizations where Sun's latest board member, Rahul Merchant, earned his chops as a technology expert. He arrives at the behest of Southeastern Asset Management, Sun's biggest investor.
Merchant was hired by the quasi-governmental mortgage lending giant, Fannie Mae, back in 2006, but resigned from his post as chief information officer and executive vice president at the lender in the wake of the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in September.
Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Merchant was the chief technology officer at brokerage house Merrill Lynch, which also famously nearly went bust thanks to the mortgage-backed security meltdown and was rescued by an ever-hungry (and perhaps over-ambitious) Bank of America, which ate Merrill for a whopping $50bn a few days before Merchant stepped down from his Fannie Mae job.
Merrill Lynch had more financial woes than perhaps BofA realized when it bought the brokerage house, and it has popped up in the headlines yet again because of the exorbitant decorating activities of former Merrill CEO John Thain and his rushing out of bonuses to Merrill employees in December of last year instead of waiting until January, when BofA employees get their bonuses.
"Mr. Merchant is an accomplished financial services industry leader with a proven track record for managing large technology operations and organizations across the globe," Sun explained in a statement announcing Merchant's appointment to the board. Merchant has a BS in electrical engineering from Bombay University, an MS in computer science from the University of Memphis, and an MBA with a finance specialty from Temple University.
You can't judge people simply by the organizations they work for. That's unfair and illogical. But funny is funny.
Sun's board includes: Scott McNealy, founder and chairman of the board; Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer; James Barksdale, of McCaw Cellular and Netscape fame; Stephen Bennett, who founded and sold Intuit; Peter Currie, a former Netscape and McCaw Cellular exec; Robert Finocchio, the former chairman and CEO of Informix (which was sold to IBM); James Greene, of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (which kicked in $700m in equity into Sun two years ago); Michael Marks, the former CEO at Flextronics who also had a stint at KKR and Tesla Motors; Patricia Mitchell, a former president of the Public Broadcasting System and a director at BofA; Kenneth Oshman, chairman and CEO at Echelon; and Anthony Ridder, the former chairman and CEO of the newspaper publisher that used to bear his name before it was sold off to McClatchy in 2006.
I wonder who Sun and SAM will appoint to the board next? ®
Now we know why Sun is in trouble...
Robert Finocchio sits on Sun's BoD.
Just a clarification, Finocchio aka Pinocchio was the CEO of Informix after Phil White cooked the books because Illustra was too hard to swallow. After Finocchio, you had Dexmier, an ex French Fighter pilot jock who couldn't run a company either. The only thing he did that was notable was in purchasing Ascential, which somehow Peter Gyness (PG) ?sp? took over as CEO. PG was the one who sold Informix to IBM for a billion (way too cheap) and then later Ascential was sold to IBM.
The biggest problem with both Finnochio and Dexmier is that they acted as if relational databases were a commodity. You can't be successful if you run a company where you think/act as if the product you make is a commodity.
Having him on the Sun BoD is indicative that they are not getting the direction that they need from a board and sound advice to turn things around.
Sun's only saving grace is that IBM is screwing their own selves out of a market leader position.
But hey! What do I know? Just tell Finnochio and Dexmier that Gumby says hi. ;-)
Muppets Puppets Mirror Cards - Someone's Playing Through The Glass
amanfromMars 3 Feb 0911>
"Manipulated Muppets" --> Manipulating?
For dDefinitely IT's AIMirror which gives One a QUITe clear uberstanding that IT is rather AIGuiding Hand Putting HAIR in New Order in the reflection than really a Muppet in IT.... if one is sure to be not (-: A hi from the Zenator for Alice and the Bishop, Too..... let AILone the Mushroom (-;
Pay the Piper, Call the Tune
When you own 22% of Sun common stock - like SAM does, and you are the largest shareholder by far in the company, then you get to call some shots. Shame on Sun for letting the company value go to the point where it could be bought for less than the cash they have in the bank. Shame on Sun management and insiders for not holding onto the millions of shares of options they have been granted over the years.