Sun axes up to 6,000 jobs as the pain continues

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Sun axes up to 6,000 jobs as the pain continues

Antony Savvas

Sun Microsystems, in another last ditch attempt to prove that it can become a profitable business, is axing up to 6,000 jobs.

The company posted a sales and profit warning last month, and it has already shed thousands of jobs in the last few years.

With server revenue well down, the open source Solaris operating system initiative failing to generate sales, and recent acquisitions proving to be an albatross around the company's neck, Sun's employees are continuing to pay.

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"Sun Microsystems today announces a series of changes designed to align its cost model with the global economic climate and accelerate the introduction of compelling open source innovations," said Sun.

"As part of this effort, Sun is announcing a global workforce reduction and alignment of its Software organisation into new business groups - Application Platform Software, Systems Platforms, and Cloud Computing & Developer Platforms - with a focus on boosting open source momentum and growing new sectors of the market who view technology as a competitive weapon."

Apart from different parts of the business being given different names, Sun watchers may not see the announcement as a solution to the loss-making company's continued decline.

"Today, we have taken decisive actions to align Sun's business with global economic realities and accelerate our delivery of key open source platform innovations - from MySQL to Sun's latest Open Storage offerings," said Jonathan Schwartz, CEO at Sun.

The 6,000 jobs to go and restructuring of operations are designed to eventually save the company up to £515m a year. The job cuts represent up to 18% of the existing headcount.

Restructuring

The job cuts and restructuring will cost the firm up to £385m over the next 12 months, plunging the firm further into the red.

Sun has also announced that Rich Green, executive vice president of Software, has chosen to leave the company. Ironically, Green was responsible for developing one of Sun's more successful initiatives - the Java operating system.

One Sun watcher posted on the Marketwatch website: "I really need to understand this. A failed reverse stock-split, overpaying for StorageTek, and spending $1 billion for My SQL which generates $0 revenue as a standalone product.

"Now, 6,000 innocent, hard working employees get the benefit of all the ineptitude in the form of pink slips. Nice. Unless Schwartz' pink slip is one of the 6,000, kiss this Sun goodbye!"


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