April 8, 2004

Exclusive: Former Sun exec Green moving to Cassatt

Author: Chris Preimesberger

NewsForge/ITMJ has learned that former Sun Microsystems Java tools spokesman Rich Green, one of the most outspoken Microsoft critics in the business, has joined former Sun colleague Bill Coleman as a senior executive at Coleman's new venture, Cassatt Corp. of San Jose, Calif. Green resigned last Friday after 14 years at Sun in the wake of the Sun-Microsoft partnership authored by Sun CEO Scott McNealy and Microsoft President Steve Ballmer.

Neither Sun or Cassatt has yet made the announcement public, but NewsForge has confirmed the appointment through two reliable sources close to Green. The Register had posted conjecture about Green moving to Cassatt but had not confirmed it. Green himself was not immediately available for comment.

Cassatt Corp., an autonomic computing company, announced its establishment in September 2003 as a new venture funded by Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm. The company will offer software and services to help enterprises implement agile business architectures which adapt to meet changing workplace requirements.

Coleman is well-known in IT circles as the co-founder, CEO, and chairman of BEA Systems. Prior to starting BEA in 1995, he held several executive positions at Sun Microsystems, including vice president and general manager of Sun Professional Services and vice president of system software, overseeing Sun OS, Solaris, and related products.

Former Sun Java tools spokesman Rich Green.

On Monday, Sun announced Green's resignation. Reportedly Green left because he was upset at the deal his boss, McNealy, made with Ballmer to end longtime IP litigation and improve interoperability of the two companies' products.

Green has invested a lot of his professional career battling Microsoft. He testified in Sun's private antitrust case against the software giant and in the non-settling states' antitrust case. Green was a witness for Sun in the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft for monopolistic practices in 2002. Microsoft ultimately lost the legal antitrust case and was declared a monopoly, but in effect it won because it was not broken into separate operating system and application companies.

But the Microsoft deal on Friday was not the last straw for Green, according to Sun. In fact, Sun said, Green played a key role, along with Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos, in the negotiations that resulted in last week's 10-year, $1.6 billion deal.

However, the fact remains that Green was McNealy's appointee as vice president of software and development tools, and it is logical that Schwartz would like to have his own person in that position. It was a foregone conclusion that Schwartz was going to replace Ed Zander as Sun president; the only question was when. Zander moved to Motorola as CEO about a year ago.

Green spent 14 years at Sun Microsystems and is credited with many contributions to the Unix industry and the Java development community. In the short term, Chris Atwood, director of engineering, Java tools, will act in the leadership role for the Java developer platform and tools group.

Green's accomplishments have been a cornerstone of Sun's success, from leading the development of the Java Platform to establishing its enterprise market, the company said.

"Rich brought an unwavering focus to two industry-shaping initiatives: the vision of 'write once run anywhere' for developers, and the universal distribution of the Java Virtual Machine on all PC desktops and devices," the company said. "Rich was instrumental in the pursuit and eventual settlement in the Java litigation between Sun and Microsoft, and was a stalwart voice for the enterprise developer."


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