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May 9, 1994

SUN “TO REORGANISE INTO HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE WORLDS, PLANETS TO BE RE-ABSORBED”

By CBR Staff Writer

The other boot is about to drop over at Sun Microsystems Inc, where a reorganisation has been on the cards since SunSoft Inc president Ed Zander was left juggling around 22 reports, after getting responsibility for Sun Technology Enterprises when Eric Schmidt was moved upstairs to become Sun’s chief technology officer. Sources as far apart as Australia and the UK say that in a sweeping change, Sun will soon revert to a more conventional company organisation, which will see most of the planets re-absorbed, leaving the parent, Sun, as effectively a two-headed beast with hardware – Sun Microsystems Computer Corp, and software – SunSoft, concerns. Sun’s current planetary make-up has six or more separate business entities, depending on whether the Sparc arm, Sun Technology Business, and Sun Technology Enterprises are treated as orbiting bodies in their own right. The planetary system proved organisationally very difficult to manage, but the key to the reorganisation is the need to create a unified sales force selling SunSoft products, rather than having separate profit and loss operations responsible for selling SunConnect, SunPro or other demarcated products. Although not all details have been finalised, it’s understood that SunSoft will take over direct responsibility for all Sun software, the Solaris operating system and objects, with five or six groups focused on networking (personal computer networks and communications); personal computer-desktop (personal computer-to-workstation communication, including Wabi); the enterprise (such as network management); Solaris (operating system marketing); core technology (research and development); and software development (compilers and languages). SunSoft vice-president of product engineering Janpieter Scheerder will head the Solaris group, Steve McKay will lead the core technology group – he’s now vice-president, technology development, with current planetary heads likely to retain control within the new groups.

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