I just got news that Marten Mickos, former MySQL CEO, is to depart Sun amid a reorganisation of its infrastructure and database business units. Don’t expect an announcement from Sun on this, but the news is confirmed.
It seems that Sun is combining its Software Infrastructure organization with its Database Group to form a unified open source product group under the leadership of Karen Tegan Padir, vice president of MySQL & Software Infrastructure.
Marten will be transitioning out of Sun by the end of the company’s (current) third quarter.
Matt Asay is right, Marten’s departure “is likely to lead to an exodus among MySQL’s deep talent pool”. This needn’t be a complete disaster – the same thing happened at JBoss and Red Hat has recovered from that, but this is going to be a serious test for Sun’s ability to maximize on the potential of MySQL and its other open source assets. Even with Marten and Monty leaving Sun still has some very good MySQL staff (not to mention some of its own) but steadying the ship will take some work.
Matt also writes that “Mickos was the backbone of MySQL’s rising revenues, as an open-source pragmatist and visionary. He was the face of MySQL, but also of the rising open-source industry.” This is true, and for that reason I hope it’s not too long before we see him taking charge at another vendor.