Sun sets on Scott

Sun Microsystems boss Scott McNealy is stepping down as CEO of the company he co-founded 24 years ago, it was announced last week.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 30, 2006

Sun Microsystems boss Scott McNealy is stepping down as CEO of the company he co-founded 24 years ago, it was announced last week. He will remain at the firm as chairman while Sun’s president Jonathan Schwartz will take over as CEO. “Jonathan has earned the admiration and respect of our 37,900 employees, our customers and partners, and the industry as a whole. He is the ideal leader to take the helm as Sun’s chief executive officer,” McNealy said in the firm’s official statement announcing the move. “Sun has been a labour of love for me,” McNealy added. Speculation has surrounded McNealy’s role in recent weeks, with analysts suggesting the firm needed a change in direction — and possibly its leadership. In particular, McNealy has been criticised for his reluctance to cut jobs at the firm. Sun has cut more than 13,000 jobs between 2001 and 2005 but some analysts have called for further reductions — possibly as much as 25% of Sun’s current 38,000-strong workforce. In a conference call last week, Schwartz claimed that “there’s no plan whatever” for such cuts and insisted that “We’re not pla- nning on changing the strategy”. He did say however that his leadership would see a greater focus on “growth and financial performance” with further cha-nge expected for Sun’s next fiscal quarter, beginning in July.

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