Green Returns to Head Suns Software Business

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-05-01 Print this article Print

The former executive is returning to the company to take on the role of executive vice president for software.

Former Sun Microsystems executive Rich Green is returning to the company to take on the role of executive vice president for software. Green has always been involved in the software industry, focusing on developers, their activities and technologies.
He joined Sun in 1989 to manage projects in its developer tools organization before becoming vice president and general manager of the Solaris organization, delivering 64-bit Solaris, clustering, high-performance Web serving and dynamic reconfiguration.
Greens appointment comes less than two months after John Loiacono announced his resignation as executive vice president of software at Sun to take an executive position at Adobe Systems. "I was then fortunate to be asked to run Suns consolidated Java organization, becoming the vice president and general manager of Java. So I was around when we launched J2EE as well as when we brought J2ME into the market. I was also involved in the courtroom activities and relationship building with Microsoft around Java," he told eWEEK in an interview May 1. Then, when Jonathan Schwartz, who is now Suns CEO, took over the software organization, Green moved to run all the companys developer technologies and tools, before leaving Sun in 2004 for Cassatt Corp., a startup founded by BEA co-founder Bill Coleman that focused on enterprise infrastructure software. Read more here about Schwartzs appointment as Sun CEO. Asked why he was willing to leave Cassatt to return to Sun, Green said it was a good time to leave as he had built a great team, a series of product lines and the business was accelerating. "So, I didnt leave there, I came here. I just want to be very clear. Look, its a time of change for Sun and Jonathan [Schwartz], and I are old professional buddies and the opportunity to work directly with him is very exciting, as is running one of Suns key set of assets," he said. Over the past few years Sun had induced a series of market changing activities, from the open-sourcing of Solaris to the Niagara processors and new developer programs that were positioning the company to accelerate with its new collection of leaders, he said. But Green declined to comment on whether he thought Sun should open-source Java, telling eWEEK he did not want to talk from an uninformed perspective and that he needed to sit down with the teams to see what has occurred over the past two years before he could comment. Click here to read more about Sun and the open-sourcing of Java. Asked what he saw as the biggest challenges and opportunities in his new role at Sun, Green said the issue for Sun had always been that the technological richness of its intellectual property portfolio meant there were so many things it could do. "What I can bring, along with Jonathan and the rest of the team, is cross-company alignment and then fierce execution. "This is not whether some things are good or bad, but rather which things if focused on more aggressively can accelerate Sun in the marketplace. Im going to be asking a lot of questions and doing a lot of analysis about how to optimize across the company and then within software to fulfill that," he said. He also declined to say when he was first approached about taking this position, but described himself as a "serious geek from a serious geek gene pool, and so I think I understand a lot of the issues and thought models of the technologists that are going to be re-evaluating Sun. So I am one of them," he said. Asked about talk of more layoffs at Sun, Green said Schwartz and he both agreed that the developer constituency, those people who understood how to add value on what Sun created, were the top constituency and they would be focusing even more so on them. "The developer side will be held in very high regard," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from
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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