SUN’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz Full Memo to Employees Regarding Oracle Buyout
I personally have a big soft spot in my heart for SUN because when I was a young computer science student at Northeastern University in 1985 we got a batch of SUN workstations with SUNTools (back in the day). SUN was the first real computer that I could use as my own to develop software. They enabled many software architects and developers.
SUN was an amazing company, and they did set the agenda for the computing and software industry. I often ran into Scott McNealy at the old IDG Agenda conference back in the day when he would battle with Bill Gates over who is going to own computing and software. It was a great time. A time of mavericks and innovation. A time when industry leaders built their companies and an ecosystem – the computer industry. That’s what great leaders and companies do. Today, it seems different. It’s like the computer (Internet) industry is lost in the woods. We are seeing to much talk and hype instead of innovation.
I know that many at SUN will lose their jobs over this buyout, but I hope I can cover some innovation around combined efforts. Maybe we can see some leadership and innovation.
Here is Jonathan Schwartz email to the employees. It is sad for me to read. SUN had a good run there
This is one of the toughest emails I’ve ever had to write.
It’s also one of the most hopeful about Sun’s future in the industry.
For 27 years, Sun has stood for courage, innovation, a willingness to blaze trails, to envision and engineer the future. No matter our ups and downs, we’ve remained committed to those ideals, and to the R&D that’s allowed us to differentiate. We’ve committed to decade-long pursuits, from the evolution of one of the world’s most powerful datacenter operating systems, to one of the world’s most advanced multi-core microelectronics. We’ve never walked away from the wholesale reinvention of business models, the redefinition of technology boundaries or the pursuit of new routes to market.
Because of the unparalleled talent at Sun, we’ve also fueled entire industries with our people and technologies, and fostered extraordinary companies and market successes. Our products and services have driven the discovery of new drugs, transformed social media, and created a better understanding of the world and marketplace around us. All, while we’ve undergone a near constant transformation in the face of a rapidly changing marketplace and global economy. We’ve never walked away from a challenge – or an opportunity.
So today we take another step forward in our journey, but along a different path – by announcing that this weekend, our board of directors and I approved the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by the Oracle Corporation for $9.50/share in cash.
All members of the board present at the meeting to review the transaction voted for it with enthusiasm, and the transaction stands to utterly transform the marketplace – bringing together two companies with a long history of working together to create a newly unified vision of the future.
Oracle’s interest in Sun is very clear – they aspire to help customers simplify the development, deployment and operation of high value business systems, from applications all the way to datacenters. By acquiring Sun, Oracle will be well positioned to help customers solve the most complex technology problems related to running a business.
To me, this proposed acquisition totally redefines the industry, resetting the competitive landscape by creating a company with great reach, expertise and innovation. A combined Oracle/Sun will be capable of cultivating one of the world’s most vibrant and far reaching developer communities, accelerating the convergence of storage, networking and computing, and delivering one of the world’s most powerful and complete portfolios of business and technical software.
I do not consider the announcement to be the end of the road, not by any stretch of the imagination. I believe this is the first step down a different path, one that takes us and our innovations to an even broader market, one that ensures the ubiquitous role we play in the world around us. The deal was announced today, and, after regulatory review and shareholder approval, will take some months to close – until that close occurs, however, we are a separate company, operating independently. No matter how long it takes, the world changed starting today.
But it’s important to note it’s not the acquisition that’s changing the world – it’s the people that fuel both companies. Having spent a considerable amount of time talking to Oracle, let me assure you they are single minded in their focus on the one asset that doesn’t appear in our financial statements: our people. That’s their highest priority – creating an inviting and compelling environment in which our brightest minds can continue to invent and deliver the future.
Thank you for everything you’ve done over the years, and for everything you will do in the future to carry the business forward. I’m incredibly proud of this company and what we’ve accomplished together.
Details will be forthcoming as we work together on the integration planning process.
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