Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Best Decision My Former Employer Has Ever Made

As I'm just about to turn in, I just read the first good news I've seen come out of Sun Microsystems in over 5-years. Scott McNealy has finally turned the reigns over to the charismatic Jonathan Schwartz.

It was the year 2001 when the small software company I had slaved at for about a year was acquired by the mighty Sun. And while I was happy to receive a paycheck every 2-weeks, the acquisition was a miserable experience.

Constant divisional name changes (at least once every 6-months), a new manager every 12-months, an ambiguous job title (Member of Engineering Team) and Vice-Presidents whose names I've forgotten because they changed as quickly as the weather in Calgary was the uncertainty I worked under for 3-years.

When we were acquired, we were given a whole wack of stock options. They were valued at $8 USD. By the time they vested one year later, the stock price stood at $6. When I was laid off in July 2004, the stock stood at just under $3.

And of course, they paid out annual bonuses in (you guessed it) stock options. On top of that, there were layoffs every bloody quarter. A small number of our colleagues were given a pink slip EVERY QUARTER.

And in all of this, McNealy never stepped aside. But I knew Schwartz was being groomed for something big because every few months, there was yet another email announcing another rung that Schwartz had climbed. I told a few of my colleagues in the few months before I was given my own pink slip in the form of I'm-going-to-do-nothing-but-eat-bonbons severance package (and with the grin as big as a cheshire cat) that Schwartz would be CEO very soon.

Either that or he was just biding his time before he left to launch a dot com when the timing was right. I just wish I still had that darn email with my prediction.

Buy Sun stock (SUNW). Now.


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