Suns Loiacono Says Farewell on His Blog

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-03-29 Print this article Print

The former executive VP of software, who is leaving for a position at Adobe, says he sees Sun "rising, not setting."

There are just two things that John Loiacono says he would do differently if he could do it all over again: join Sun Microsystems three years sooner out of college and sell every share he had when the stock hit $130. In a public farewell statement posted to his Sun blog March 26, the former executive vice president of software at Sun, who was recently lured away after 19 years to a position as senior vice president of creative solutions at Adobe Systems, says he is not leaving because he thinks the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has no future: "If you look closely, you will see the Sun rising, not setting."
To read more about Loiaconos move to Adobe, click here.
He also describes how difficult it was telling his bosses, Sun CEO and chairman Scot McNealy and COO and president Jonathan Schwartz, both of whom were "surprised, but they were also cordial, professional and each a total class act." He also mentions that he was able to tell his staff he was leaving before the news media, including eWEEK, got wind of his departure and reported it. "At Sun, if there is any dirt to be known, the network finds it and disseminates it. At light speed. To all ends of the earth. Usually with 80 percent accuracy. Often on CNET, eWEEK or The Register, before the company itself has been notified. But not this time," he says. Regrets? That he would not be there to finish establishing Suns software business, where he has been involved for the past five years. Click here to read more about Loiaconos rise in Suns ranks. "I get paid to be optimistic about my business, to be a cheerleader. And right when the team is starting to hit its stride, I got lured away. That was a tough message to deliver," Loiacono said. As to why hes leaving, Loiacono said he knows he wants to do a startup at some point. "But if I want to get there eventually, I asked myself which would be more compelling: landing at a startup when I had 25 years of Sun experience or landing with 19 years of Sun experience and six, seven or 10 years of experience at a place like Adobe. I chose the latter because it was right for me. That may not be right for everyone, but it made sense for me," he said. While he said he looks forward to his start at Adobe, he said he leaves Sun with a heavy heart and an "incredible set of memories. I grew up here. I got married while here … Its been a thrill, and worth every late night, road trip and commute mile. I dont know if the culture is a product of me or Im a product of the culture. Either way, I am proud to have been part of Suns incredible, industry-altering ride." 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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