Scott McNealy, Chief Executive of Sun Microsystems, “will soon move on from the company”, Forbes reports today, after recent revelations from Mark Stahlman, a research analyst for Carris and Company.
When the analyst last spoke with McNealy about his plans, he indicated that he was staying on "until the job is done" and concurred that finishing the job meant at least three things — reestablishing product superiority, regaining control over costs and igniting demand in a broad and balanced customer base.
"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."
This latest revelation only increases the likelihood of a Google purchase of the hardware giant, something I argued for recently, which was very widely received by the online media and financial community only two weeks ago. It seems highly plausible that McNealy has been liquidating positions in accordance with a privately pre-arranged deal with Google Chairmen Page and Brin, who would need the excess liquidity of the stock in order to execute a successful buy-out of the hardware goliath: only a little over a week ago, he sold $10 million worth of Sun Microsystems stock that he owned personally.
Given Google’s current budget, McNealy will surely come out of this a handsomely rich man if this is the case, which may be just what he was hoping for all along: for some time now, he has been conspicuously inconspicuous in public appearances. Indeed, apart from declaring war on Microsoft, there has been little heard from the formerly extroverted CEO. The denunciations of Microsoft in themselves too have been peculiar: although it is known that McNealy and Gates share an age-old rivalry, what the current Chairman of Sun has been singing recently sounds much more in harmony with Google than with the former.
Consider this updated 3-month trading chart, benchmarked against the NASDAQ: