Forbes Holding Exit Door For McNealy

David A. Utter By David A. Utter
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Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy could be at a point where his work with Sun is complete, which makes one analyst believe the outspoken executive may depart the company.

It should not take too long for McNealy to clear the air about the Forbes report that cited Caris & Company analyst Mark Stahlman, who has spoken with McNealy in the past about his plans.

Three criteria had to be met before McNealy would consider stepping down – reestablishing product superiority, regaining control over costs and igniting demand in a broad and balanced customer base. Stahlman thinks that has all been fulfilled:

“In our opinion, these three criteria have largely been met,” wrote the analyst in a recent report. “Accordingly, we will not be surprised if McNealy does indeed decide to step down.”

The analyst believes that Sun has successfully exited a “deadly downward spiral” and is now transitioning to a new set of market and product conditions.

“In 2006, we suspect that the company could move on, perhaps to even greater accomplishments,” said the analyst.

Stahlman’s rating of “above average” shows his confidence in Sun. That confidence has to be in Sun’s hardware business, which had suffered with the ascension of Linux as a freely available alternative to Sun’s once-proprietary Solaris operating system. Linux could do on x86 hardware what would normally require a much more expensive piece of hardware from Sun to accomplish with Solaris.

Sun has moved much of its software to being freely available, and licensed under its CDDL. That includes Solaris 10, which has found acceptance in its new incarnation as OpenSolaris.

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About David A. Utter
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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