Though he plans to stay on as Chairman, Scott McNealy a Sun Microsystems co-founder will step down after 22 years in the CEO role.
His spot will be taken by heir apparent Jonathan Schwartz, who has been with the company just 10 years.
McNealy’s move out of the day to day running of the company comes amidst criticism that Sun failed to adequately account for the general industry slow-down that came after the end of Y2K and the dotcom boom. While other companies shed staff in an on-going round of redundancies, Sun was slow to act and is paying for it now, say the McNealy critics.
Schwartz, once the CEO of a company acquired by Sun has held numerous jobs with the company before being appointed Sun’s president and chief operating officer in April 2004.
“It is an honour to take the reins of this great company from one of the industry’s true visionaries,” Schwartz said in a company statement.
“I am incredibly excited by what the future holds for Sun and the opportunity to continue working with Scott, and the rest of the management team, to help Sun attain its financial and operational goals,” he said.
Schwartz, described as being behind many of Sun’s open source and standard setting initiatives and an outspoken advocate for the network as a utility, take the role effective immediately, but as part of a planned succession said the company’s Board.
“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.
“Sun has been a labor of love for me,” McNealy added. “We’ve helped shape the industry as it is today and the opportunities before us are immense. I look forward to a smooth transition and to working with Jonathan on company strategy in my continued role as chairman.”