Suns New CFO Talks

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-02-24 Print this article Print

Open Source"> McNealy then introduced Suns new chief financial officer, Mike Lehman, who left the Sun board and joined the company as an employee this past week. Lehman said the company was in better shape that it has been for years and that the big challenge it faces over the next six months is how to best execute its vision. Read more here about Suns ap-pointment of Mike Lehman as its new CFO.
Lehman also added that he had a little-known history with Suns Chief Operating Officer and President Jonathan Schwartz, who had once reported to him, and that they had shared an office. "But now he gets to tell me not to answer any questions and go back to work," Lehman quipped.
Taking the stage next, Greg Papadopoulos, Suns chief technology officer, looked at open-source software and software as a service, asking the question of what the two concepts had to do with one another, if anything. While open source is fundamentally about freedom for developers, he said, just because something was based on open source did not mean there would be end-user freedom and no costs. There is also a misconception that open source is a faster way of developing software, he said, rather than its being "a more transparent and collaborative way of developing software." The next stage in the open scenario was open services, he said, where developers would use Suns storage grid rather than buying their own, bringing freedom for service developers. Situations where open source-based services could be shared and executed include when working on common patterns for service levels and management, he said; not just publishing the code, but also the prototypical services. "We are without doubt headed towards a classic phase change," he said. Next Page: COO Jonathan Schwartz compares exit barriers.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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