Schwartz puts comforting arm around stricken Sun
Uses other arm for Oracle fist-pump
Employees at Sun Microsystems concerned at the prospect of yet more lay-offs at the company will not have been comforted by a company-wide memo from president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz yesterday.
Only those in possession of Oracle shares may be heartened by the missive, which went to all Sun employees a few hours after Oracle finally prevailed in its battle with EU antitrust regulators, and got the go-ahead to close the $7.4bn deal. The Wall Street Journal quickly got its hands on the memo from the man who was at the helm when Sun ran aground.
Schwartz gave the obligatory "it has been an honor and a privilege to work together" rah-rah speech, saying that in his 20 years in the IT biz "Sun's people have always stood apart as the brightest, most passionate, and most inspiring", adding somewhat hyperbolically that he has "never had a bad day in my 13 years for one very basic reason - I've always been surrounded by the best and brightest individuals I've ever come across".
In reference to Sun's technology, Schwartz said that he once told Scott McNealy, one of Sun's four co-founders, that "he was the Henry Ford of the technology industry, making remarkable innovations accessible to anyone, and creating an immense number of jobs around the globe for those that made use of them".
While Sun has clearly been important in its contributions, the analogy doesn't work. The computer industry does not have clean analogues to the auto industry, although McNealy, whose father William McNealy was a bigwig and former vice chairman at American Motors, was fond of making some comparisons that made sense. Schwartz's doesn't: if there is a Henry Ford of the IT industry, it is not a person, but probably a company named Intel. (If it were a person, it'd be Bill Gates.)
The bitter irony, of course, in the comparison that Schwartz makes is that American Motors - itself an amalgam of companies and partnerships that struggled against the Big Three US automakers from the 1950s through the 1980s - eventually had to sell itself to number three, Chrysler. For most of the past decade, Sun has been the number four server maker and has run into such trouble that the top two server makers declined to buy it, and a software giant is going to have a go.
(Foreshadowing is how you tell the good literature from the cheap stuff.)
Schwartz went on to thank Sun's engineers, its sales people and its service personnel, and said that "like Oracle, we're an engineering company in our heart and soul, our potential together is limitless". This is where it gets freaky. Schwartz reminded everyone that he came to Sun through a 1996 acquisition and had been involved in lots of acquisitions since that time. (No kidding, and some of them were perplexing, others exasperating.) And this is Schwartz's advice:
From those experiences, I've learned one very clear lesson - the single most important driver of a successful acquisition are the people involved–and how committed they are to the new owner’s mission.
And the most effective mechanism I've seen for driving that commitment begins with a simple, but emotionally difficult step.
Upon change in control, every employee needs to emotionally resign from Sun. Go home, light a candle, and let go of the expectations and assumptions that defined Sun as a workplace. Honor and remember them, but let them go.
As for the many thousands of employees who won't be asked to join the Sunacle collective, Schwartz said it was a great brand to have on your resume and that with the economy on the mend, he was "very confident" the unemployed would land on their feet. And then Schwartz signed off thus:
So thank you, again, for the privilege and honor of working together. The Internet's made the world a far smaller place - so I'm sure we'll be bumping into one another.
Silicon Valley is a pretty small place. Given how many Sun employees have lost their jobs, with more set to lose theirs once Oracle actually gains control of the company, and Sun employees have all lost plenty of money as Sun's fortunes have waned and its stock has tanked, perhaps Schwartz should not be quite so cheerful about bumping into former Sunners. They may just knock him flat, particularly considering that Schwartz stood to benefit personally to the tune of $19.8m by selling out - sorry, selling - the company. ®
- Blame Shhh-wartz for lacking the necessary industry vision / business leadership / charisma / prior proven experience required of someone trying to return to profitability an unprofitable company of Suns size.
- Blame the Board of directors for appointing an inexperienced Shhh-wartz in the first place, then sitting around doing nothing as the company continued in failing to return to profitability.
- Blame McNealy for seeing what was coming, and planning an early escape to put some distance between himself, and the CEO role.
- Blame the Dot.com bubble burst for cutting Sun's revenues.
- Blame the executive management team for failing to restructure the organization quickly, decisively, and appropriately, early on..
- Blame a company culture of SPARC+UNIX elitism that shunned x86/Windows platforms until only a few years ago , realising once it was too late, that they could have worked together after-all, to the benefit of their customers, and their revenues (maybe Bill *shouldnt* have dropped out of Harvard, Scott, but just look whose company is still profitable + independent, and whose isnt).
Blame the analysts and their lack of vision when making recommendations, blame the marketing people for not being able to market, blame the customers for not knowing what is good for them, blame linux for being free, blame alpha-particles and the bloody UltraSparc-II e-cache bit flips...
Blame <whoever> if it makes you feel better, but we didnt get here over night. This FAIL has been building up, out in the open for all to see, over most of the past decade.
* Mines the one with with updated resume in the left pocket, hip-flask of Johnny Blue in my right pocket, and a good portion of the stationary cupboard contents in my bag. Seeya round.
Go to hell Pony!
Pony took Sun down. Pony has taken every company he has been involved with down. Already Sun is making more money with Larry at the helm than Pony ever did. Exadata V2 is already selling more systems in the first 3 months than HP ever sold with Exadata V1, and that is because of better technology and Oracles ability to sell said tech. GO ORACLE. Suck on it Pony!
I am staggered by the smug, self-regarding vomit from this odious little worm He manages to be craven, simpering, dishonest and condescending all at the same time. In that, he is reminescent of Tony Blair (and that is *not* a compiiment, more a deeply held hope and belief that he is destined for the seventh circle of hell itself).
I hesitate to use the word, but he is clearly and demonstrably, a CUNT