Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL and subsequently senior vice president of the database group at Sun Microsystems has announced his resignation.
“There is nothing in the MySQL business that is prompting me to leave,” Mickos said. “Business is great. We just closed a multimillion-dollar deal recently that confirms much of the momentum we’ve made. We just closed our best quarter ever.”
The story then goes on to include an excerpt from an internal email Mickos sent implying he was quitting primarily for personal reasons. But the Cnet story continues:
What Mickos doesn’t say in the staff letter, but which I sensed in my conversation with him, is frustration at Sun’s bureaucracy. As one of the most foundational personalities in open-source business, Mickos should have been given free rein to change Sun’s fortunes. I don’t think that he was given that freedom, based on other conversations I’ve had with Sun executives, and this clearly led to his desire to leave Sun.
This certainly wouldn’t be the first time that an enterpreneurial type grew frustrated working within the context of much bigger company, post-acquisition. But Sun needs to be careful. They paid about $1B for MySQL and they are starting to lose some of the core staff.
See this Information Week story:
“I find it worrying that Sun would let him go. … Marten believes in open source software, but he was pragmatic, he was able to monetize the open source space. If someone who wanted to be part of an open source business didn’t find it that exciting to be at Sun, that’s a message that doesn’t help” Sun’s effort to be recognized as a full-fledged, open source company, [Johnson] said. [Rod] Johnson [CEO of SpringSource] was tapped by Sun last November to sit on the executive committee of its Java Community Process, the body that regulates Java’s development.
I never have been a fan of stories in which news organizations “sense” things. The man said what he said. If they have evidence to the contrary, they need to cite it — even if it’s unnamed sources. Otherwise bloggers like you and me are left trying to figure out what’s real.
That’s a great point — in fact, now that I think about it, you don’t often see real news organizations put in their sense, explicitly at least. They can do so implicitly, for example, choosing to include a quote from someone who senses something [they sense] as opposed to quoting someone else.In the end, from a news viewpoint then, the “frustration” is indeed speculation until cited or sourced.That said, the pattern wouldn’t be surprising, but then again things don’t always follow patterns.Finally, much of the press on Mickos leaving seems to overlook the larger creation of a new open source software unit which tends to imply the blogosphere thinks that’s the smokescreen for Mickos, whereas perhaps it’s the inverse. Anyway, comments in the blogosphere are all over the place on this, so nothing I can find takes me anywhere nearer the truth See the comments on this story for example: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10158335-16.html