Sun Microsystems Circles the Drain


Sun Microsystems Inc. said co-founder Scott McNealy will give up the job of chief executive to the No. 2 person at the company, Jonathan Schwartz, a historic transition for a computer maker facing stiff pressure to cut costs and boost revenue.

So long, funny man!

McNealy never could articulate a compelling reason to buy Sun computers. Everybody knows he hates Microsoft, but does anyone buy products based on who the manufacturer hates? Apparently not.

Yesterday, Mr. McNealy told analysts that said [sic] the change reflects years of succession planning, with the timing of the change his own decision.

Translation: “We just announced a third-quarter loss of six cents a share vs. a loss of one cent a share in the year-earlier period. Our stock price is $4.98, far below its 2000 high of $64. I detect the scent of hot tar and feathers in the air. Good night and good luck.”

Following word of McNealy’s resignation, Sun’s stock rose nearly 10% in after-hours trading. Ouch.

Red flags for Sun’s future include:

Mr. Schwartz, known for a trademark ponytail . . .


James Barksdale, lead outside director at Sun, said . . .

Remember Netscape? Neither does anyone else, but Barksdale was the CEO. He’s also insane.

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