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As Sun unravels, it's time for a new suit

Update: Sun says not so

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There should be a re-evaluation of and re-definition of Sun's core value proposition (CVP), which should not be a re-affirmation that the network is the computer. Yes it is, but so what? That's what got Sun into the state it's now in.

The existing Sun businesses should be divided into sustainable niches, potentially profitable and reinforceable products, and disposable dogs. Acquisitions should be pursued to reinforce the sustainable and reinforceable businesses in line with Sun's new CVP. In storage, a list of potential acquisitions might include 3PAR, Compellent and Xiotech. In servers, Sun should go full tilt into blades and might consider trying to buy Brocade, to position itself for the one-stop server, storage, and networking shop that looks to be developing.

Sun's new CEO needs to conduct a wholesale review of the executive team and reduce the ranks to people who understand and support a necessary new order, and suggest that ones supporting the older, failed strategies in their area need to leave the company.

Who might potential CEOs be? An obvious quality would be to be like the Joe Tucci of ten years ago, someone from outside the top of the server and storage and software mainstream, but who understands it and has the business and personal qualities needed to take a dejected, demoralised and defeated company forward.

Sun's board should consider people with qualities like Brocade's Michael Klayko, someone able to sustain and grow a company against competitors. Riverbed's Jerry Kennelly is possibly a little old. HDS' Jack Domme and Iomega's Jonathan Huberman might have some of the qualities needed. LSI's Abhi Talwarkar might have some of them too. Bill Watkins isn't doing a lot at the moment, by the way.

Whether Scott McNealy should come back like Michael Dell is, in my personal opinion, moot. After all he hired Jonathan Schwartz, promoted him into the CEO spot and has supported the Schwartz strategies that have placed Sun in the position it is in today. A new broom might be best.

Update

Reuters report that Sun mailed it a statement late on Monday which said: "As a policy Sun does not comment on rumors or speculation. What we can say is that Sun is committed to its leadership team, growth strategy and building value for its shareholders." ®

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