Marten Mickos is leaving Sun amid reorg

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.

Marten’s departure is a big loss for Sun and follows quickly after the departures of Monty Widenius and David Axmark.

UPDATE
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.

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24 comments ↓

#1 451 CAOS Theory » Microsoft looking for director of open source desktop strategy on 02.06.09 at 5:07 am

[…] for director of open source desktop strategy Matthew Aslett, February 6, 2009 @ 5:07 am ET What a goldmine my inbox was this morning. I also received the news that Microsoft’s Windows Competitive […]

#2 Die wunderbare Welt von Isotopp on 02.06.09 at 10:16 am

Das Ende einer Ära…

Das Ende einer Ära ist immer auch der Anfang einer neuen: David, Monty, und jetzt Mårten. Damit verläßt das alte MySQL-Management so ziemlich geschlossen Sun – ein Jahr nach der Verkündigung und Besiegelung des Verkaufs. Sun hat sein neues Open So…

#3 mel on 02.06.09 at 10:57 am

According previous Monty’s post about 5.1 GA [To quote Mårten Mickos: “MySQL 5.1 will be release as GA in or before December because I say so”. ] – seems it’s not a big loss for Sun & MySQL…

Big loss is Monty’s departure.

#4 Roy Schestowitz on 02.06.09 at 11:35 am

http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/02/time-to-move-on.html

“The main reason for leaving was that I am not satisfied with the way the MySQL server has been developed, as can be seen on my previous blog post. In particular I would have like to see the server development to be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up the server development, but the pace has been too slow.”

What’s Sun’s response to this?

Simon, where are you..?

#5 » Mickos Departing Sun as Well on 02.06.09 at 12:07 pm

[…] Linky. […]

#6 William on 02.06.09 at 12:21 pm

This may seem harsh, but I think its a good thing. Marten seemed to be the anti opensource guy at MySql. It was under his direction that they were going to move to a different feature set entirely between enterprise and community. All of the confusion between those two product lines are his responsibility. There are things that you might have to do as a small open source company to create revenue that don’t apply when you are part of a larger company. I do wish him well though, and thank him for steering the Mysql Company against almost impossible odds to keep it viable. A lot of its success is also due to his business acumen. But you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them and for Marten, it was time to fold.

#7 Log Buffer #134: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs on 02.06.09 at 12:39 pm

[…] Monty, your thunder has been stolen! MySQL boss Marten Mickos is leaving Sun too. So says Matthew Aslett on 451 CAOS Theory. No official announcement, but this news is […]

#8 451 CAOS Theory » 451 CAOS Links 2009.02.06 on 02.06.09 at 12:40 pm

[…] card printers There was a rush of new appointment and departure announcements this week. As already noted today, Sun has confirmed the departure of Marten Mickos as Sun is combining its Software […]

#9 LeahPGeoghegan on 02.06.09 at 3:40 pm

Marten Mickos was just fired because he could not fix MySQL development problems and as result Monty had to leave.

#10 What’s Buzzing? » Blog Archive » Saasnews : Sun Closing in on Cloud … - Internetnews.Com on 02.06.09 at 3:41 pm

[…] 451 CAOS Theory » Marten Mickos is leaving Sun amid reorg […]

#11 Roy Schestowitz on 02.06.09 at 5:42 pm

LeahPGeoghegan,

Cite pls?

#12 451 CAOS Theory » Marten Mickos is leaving Sun amid reorg | thepostingsecrets on 02.07.09 at 12:10 am

[…] Read more from the original source: 451 CAOS Theory » Marten Mickos is leaving Sun amid reorg […]

#13 BackinTheDayDBA on 02.07.09 at 6:03 am

Amazing. 1 year and $1 billion dollars later, all the major players have left, Sun are reporting scalability issues on their own hardware, and the product has gone into fork hell.

It would be polite to just call it incompetence. I suspect orchestrated pillaging not seen since the Viking times

#14 MySQL Open Source Heroes Leave Sun on 02.07.09 at 10:08 am

[…] Mårten leaves Sun during company reorganization, apparently because frustrated by Sun bureaucracy, but reading excerpts from his staff e-mail it looks like if he is missing the challenge, and the freedom to choose. […]

#15 Будущее MySQL « Блог о CMS on 02.07.09 at 3:23 pm

[…] Мартен Микос объявил о своём скором уходе из SUN, бывший директор MySQL. И всё это на фоне новостей о […]

#16 И, кстати, про MySQL :: Жизнь на просторах Интернета. on 02.07.09 at 4:39 pm

[…] Мартен Микос объявил о своём скором уходе из SUN, бывший директор MySQL. И всё это на фоне новостей о […]

#17 Anonymous Manager on 02.07.09 at 5:09 pm

I work at MySQL, and I can tell you that Marten’s departure will be a good thing. Matt Asay doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Marten is basically anti-open source. He’s got this duplicitous way of looking at the world that forced us to split our ability to contribute with our business priorities. Unlike the rest of Sun, which is far better aligned to one product = one community (Witness Solaris and Glassfish).

In addition, we entirely lack engineering discipline in building our product – 5.1 was a disaster senior Sun execs had to step in to solve, and it’s my view that Marten’s failings there, and in demonstrating business results he promised before the acquisition, were at the root of his dismissal.

But I believe we will be stronger under a stronger engineering leader. And we can get on with growing the community AND our business, not in opposition to one another.

#18 MySQL’s Founder Widenius and CEO Mickos Both Out | Infosecurity.US on 02.09.09 at 11:01 am

[…] the ‘bad to worse‘ files: According to reports allegedly confirmed by both the 451 Group and blogger Matt Asay, Marten Mickos the former CEO of MySQL is set to leave Sun. (I have not yet […]

#19 Do Top Hackers Have Too Much Money? | Linux News Collected on 02.09.09 at 8:40 pm

[…] had been swirling since last year. But its impact was redoubled following the even more astonishing news that MySQL’s boss, Marten Mickos, was also moving on; together, they inevitably sent […]

#20 What’s Buzzing? » Blog Archive » Prominent People in Educational Technology « Connie Cawley on 02.10.09 at 9:55 am

[…] 451 CAOS Theory » Marten Mickos is leaving Sun amid reorg […]

#21 Do Top Hackers Have Too Much Money? | Firmo Technologies, L.L.C., Kansas City Unix and Open Source Software Support. |AIX|Solaris|Linux| on 02.10.09 at 2:13 pm

[…] had been swirling since last year. But its impact was redoubled following the even more astonishing news that MySQL’s boss, Marten Mickos, was also moving on; together, they inevitably sent […]

#22 El Duplicador » Que el último co-fundador de MySQL en abandonar Sun apague la luz on 02.11.09 at 10:11 pm

[…] Mickos fué Senior Vice President de su grupo de base de datos, pero no por mucho tiempo más si este reporte del 451 Group tiene razón. El rumor dice que Mickos abandonará Sun a finales del próximo mes de […]

#23 Roy Schestowitz on 02.15.09 at 5:00 pm

Anonymous Manager, that makes some sense. I got the same impression when I corresponded with Marten.

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