Sun Re-Hires Exec to Run Software Unit
Published: May 4, 2006
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
The top software job at Sun Microsystems has been vacant for a little more than a month, and at its Network Computing 06Q2 event in Washington, D.C., this week, the company announced that it has talked Rich Green, a long-time Sun executive in its software organization, to come back into the fold and run that unit.
With the appointment as executive vice president of Sun Software, Green is in charge of everything software at Sun and reports directly to Jonathan Schwartz, the new CEO at the company who also held that top software job until he was appointed to the post of president and chief operating officer two years ago. While software is a relatively small Sun unit in terms of revenues--Sun does not officially report results in its software business, but it is common knowledge that software is utterly dwarfed by the company's product sales--software is politically and spiritually central to Sun. Think of Solaris, the Java Enterprise System middleware stack, and Java. Solaris and Java are what make Sun famous, and perhaps enable much of its sales.
Green, who was Sun's Java czar when Sun inked its landmark $2 billion antitrust settlement regarding Java with Microsoft, left Sun just as that deal was being forged. A few weeks later, Schwartz ascended from the top software job at Sun to the presidency of the company. Green was instrumental in taking Solaris from 32-bits to 64-bits, and managed the development of the Sun Cluster clustering extensions for Solaris, too.
Green left Sun after 14 years to become executive vice president at Cassatt, a startup that is specializing in creating software to manage virtualized hardware and software environments. Cassatt was founded by ex-pats from BEA Systems, Cray, and Sun, among others. It would not be entirely unlikely that, given what Cassatt's Collage software does and what Sun's aspirations are in grid computing and virtual systems, that Sun turns around and buys Cassatt to build out its portfolio of N1 systems management tools. Aside from its founders, who knows Cassatt better than Green? He was executive vice president of products while there.
"I am delighted to be returning to Sun at such an exciting time in the company's 24-year history," Green said in a statement this week announcing his return to Sun. "I look forward to playing a leading role in the evolution of Sun's enterprise software products--with a laser focus on continuing to build that business, as well as ensure its future."
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