Sun Sinking, Ponytail Blogging

Every age, it seems, must have its Nero.

The indifferent figure callously fiddling while Rome is burning all around him.

We see one such Nero-esque figure in the ponytailed Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of the struggling IT company Sun Microsystems.

Jonathan Schwartz

Sun’s fortunes have taken a massive beating after the dot com bust. Wave after wave of layoffs has roiled the company, revenues have fallen, profits have collapsed and the share price has sunk deep into the sewer.

And our ponytailed Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, protege of former CEO Scott McNealy, is blogging – yes, wasting his highly paid CEO time blogging – as the Sun ship slowly sinks into a quagmire.

Sun’s stock is now trading near its 52-week low. And Ponytail is blogging.

Sun’s server revenues are declining (for Q4, 2007, according to IDC). And Ponytail keeps blogging.

Sun posts a loss. And Ponytail keeps blogging.

Sun to fire another 2,500. And Ponytail keeps blogging.

IBM continues to do a great job. And Ponytail keeps blogging.Â

Schwartz may not be the best person to lead Sun but he knows only too well that there will be criticism of the time he’s wasting on a blog when there are more pressing concerns like for instance facing up to the competition from IBM and HP or getting rid of the deadwood at the company.

So in his latest blog post on the company’s pathetic fiscal third quarter results, our ponytailed CEO Schwartz included the below question (perhaps a repeat):

“Why does Sun’s CEO waste time writing that blog?”

Because I believe in providing clarity surrounding our strategy and operations – not just once a year in the Annual Report. I believe clarity behind our direction is useful for our shareholders, customers, partners and employees.

In good times, and in challenging ones.

I believe in providing clarity surrounding our strategy and operations

What rubbish.

Sun’s results and repeated layoffs amply demonstrate that clarity is the one thing this company has not had in years. Are our results bad – well, march a few thousand employees into the courtyard and shoot em.

Seems like this is all the strategy Sun has.

Like CEO, like Underlings
If you thought Schwartz was the only clueless Nero at Sun, you are so wrong.

Sun is a company that is still home to many fatuous Neros.

Even after more than 10,000 employees have been thrown off the cliff, there’s still deadwood at Sun who drain company resources.

We say, throw them all under the train. Quickly.

Scott McNealy used to say – eat lunch or be lunch.

Guess what – IBM, HP and MSFT are now gorging on the Sun carcass.

Bail out of Sun before it becomes a penny stock.

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