Jonathan Schwartz has penned his first blog as CEO of Sun Microsystems – a heart-felt tribute to his former boss Scott McNealy.
It’s also a reminder that whatever the analysts might write about McNealy’s stewardship of Sun from a financial point of view, through thick and thin he has clung to his ‘network is the computer’ vision. It’s also clear to everyone that Schwartz is just as passionate about – and confident in – that viewpoint.
Incidentally, you’ll remember that I mentioned in a previous posting about the return on investment of corporate blogs that Schwartz’s blog is likely to deliver sound ROI, going on what we know about its traffic and likely lead generation, let alone what it does for Sun’s visibility, credibility and branding.
I wonder though if Schwartz will be able to dedicate quite so much time to his blogging now that he is CEO and president of a technology company with a market cap of $17bn and sales last year of over $11bn.
Incidentally I dug out some of the quotes from a brief interview I had with McNealy in the summer of 2003. I asked him what he was most proud of with regards to Sun: “I take a lot of pride in the fact that Sun systems and technologies are used in everything from telemedicine to distance learning to deciphering the human genome to helping businesses run more efficiently,” he said.
Asked what he thought he might have done had it not been for Sun, he replied: “I’d like to think I’d be wrapping up an illustrious career in the National Hockey League, which is what I imagined when I was a kid.”
As for which technologies will be most important in the enterprise in the coming years, McNealy said: “I think we’ll all be surprised by the innovations that come out in the next 10 years. But of the technologies we know about right now, I’d say Java, XML, and the Internet Protocol stack will be the foundation for a lot of what happens in the enterprise well into the future. It’s these kind of open standards and cross-platform technologies that have powered huge productivity gains for businesses around the world – and we’ve barely scratched the surface.”
I’m not sure that I agree with Jonathan Schwartz that McNealy is a “hero to us all”, but it’s unquestionable that Sun’s technology has indeed helped to underpin some businesses that we all now take for granted. Of course for that we must thank not just McNealy, but the likes of server designer Andy Betcholsheim, Java inventor James Gosling, and many more of Sun’s 38,000 employees.
Our full coverage of the news that McNealy is becoming chairman and making Schwartz CEO is here.
I assembled some of McNealy’s wittiest quotes from over the years here.