Sun Microsystems to Change Ticker Symbol to JAVA

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-08-23 Print this article Print

Twenty-one years after going public, Sun decides to make an image change.

Sun Microsystems, which has built most of its company around the Java programming language brand since it was introduced in April 1995, announced Aug. 23 that it will change its NASDAQ stock symbol to "JAVA" from "SUNW" beginning Monday, Aug. 27. Since Sun stock began trading in 1986, SUNW had been used for the stock ticker—it stands for "Stanford University Network Workstation."
However, "SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that weve decided to look ahead," Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote in his blog.
"The number of people who know Java swamps the number of people who know Sun," Schwartz wrote. "[This is] because Java touches nearly everyone—everyone—who touches the Internet. Hundreds of millions of users see Java, and its ubiquitous logo, every day. On PCs, mobile phones, game consoles—you name it, wherever the network travels, the odds are good Javas powering a portion of the experience. "Whats that distribution and awareness worth to us? Its hard to say," Schwartz wrote. "Brands, like employees, arent expenses, theyre investments. Measuring their value is more art than science. But theres no doubt in my mind more people know Java than Sun Microsystems. Theres similarly no doubt they know Java more than nearly any other brand on the Internet." To read about how Sun went for the green with its new data center, click here. Sun Microsystems was incorporated on Feb 24, 1982 and went public on March 4, 1986. The company name was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim, Scott McNealy, Vinod Khosla and Bill Joy. The name is derived from the initials Stanford University Network as two (McNealy and Khosla) of the original founders were fellow Stanford graduate students. Even the logo was designed by professor Vaughan Pratt, also of Stanford University. Sun spokesperson Noel Hartzell told eWEEK that the company has simply decided that Java has an "incredible brand awareness that represents value," and that the time had come to make a change. "What this represents is not a rebranding of the company or anything like that, but its leveraging an incredible community and a huge and respected asset thats known the world over," Hartzell said. "It also represents the ethos that Sun has always espoused: that the idea is greater than any one individual." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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