More Sun Layoffs on the Horizon with Oracle Buy?

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-04-20 Print this article Print

Given the news of tech-company gobbler Oracle buying Sun Microsystems, it isn't too difficult to imagine that more Sun employees could be losing jobs.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas put it like this in a release today:

The blistering economy has taken a toll on the tech sector, claiming 84,217 jobs in the first quarter. As a result, we may see more mergers like this morning's $7 billion acquisition of struggling Sun Microsystems Inc by Oracle. Sun announced 6,000 job cuts in November and could see more job loss as the combined entity seeks cost savings and positions itself against its chief rivals, IBM and HP. Overall, mergers and acquisitions have resulted in 44,379 job cuts so far this year. That is up 469 percent from the 7,796 merger-related cuts by the same point last year.

Also, given Oracle's publicly stated comments about trying to drive profits up while getting more efficient with Sun products, you can imagine that efficiency could easily wind up being fewer Sun employees in the months and years to come.

One of the more likely places to see job redundancies and reductions is software engineering. Given Oracle's already large software engineering core, it seems likely that there could be some overlap. The challenge is that existing Sun employees will have the advantage of strength in Java, but existing Oracle engineers will understand the integration with Oracle middleware, databases and other software in CRM, ERP and financials (remember, Oracle bought Siebel, Peoplesoft and Hyperion over the last several years).

Speaking of databases, eWEEK Labs analyst Jason Brooks points out the following in regard to Sun's one area of competition to Oracle, MySQL:

Part of MySQL's reason for being centers on snatching share from Oracle's costlier database product, so it will be very interesting to see how Oracle deals with MySQL once it joins Oracle's stable. For now, as with Oracle's Linux product, the company says that MySQL will be an addition to Oracle's existing database product suite.

If I were working on, selling or supporting the MySQL line, I'd be pretty nervous.

Here's how ZDNet's Larry Dignan imagines MySQL panning out as an Oracle product: "Oracle gets to kill MySQL. There's no way Ellison will let that open-source database mess with the margins of his database. MySQL at best will wither from neglect. In any case, MySQL is MyToast."

We'll see how this shakes out in the coming months. |

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