Feeds

Sun taps ex-Merrill, ex-Fannie Mae exec for board

Meltdown trickle down

Boost IT visibility and business value

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? ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.