Sun's software deputy quits

DeWitt-Kohn syndrome claims another over July 4


Sun Microsystems' ongoing effort to build a strong software business hit a snag this week as the company's number two code executive resigned, The Register can confirm.

Mark McClain's official title at Sun was vice president of software marketing. He served under both EVP of software John Loiacono and CMO Anil Gadre. McClain used to head up Waveset Technologies, an identity software company that Sun acquired in late 2003. Sun executives often tout how grand the Waveset technology is and were obviously impressed with McClain's leadership as well. His task was to "drive software product management and marketing as well as all business planning, software strategy and outbound marketing programs."

In the end, however, life at a company the size of Sun didn't do it for McClain - this is a condition known as DeWitt-Kohn syndrome.

"I want each of you to know that I feel thankful, honored and privileged to have worked alongside all of you for the past 18 months at Sun," McClain wrote to his software and marketing troops in a memo obtained by El Reg. "There are many things that cause me to have great optimism as Sun enters (fiscal year 2006) - a strong product line, a renewed focus on the fundamentals of growth and earnings, and a resilience and confidence that is one of Sun's greatest corporate assets.  

"But, more than that, I have learned that this is a special company. The caliber and passion of the people here is unquestionable. At the end of the day, the business of technology is ultimately the business of people, so I have great hope, and confidence, that Sun will continue to make an impact in the industry for many, many years because it is Sun's people that will make that impact."

That's touching stuff.  

Sun had less to say about McClain's exit.

"Sun has a policy of not commenting on personnel matters and the Company does not respond to rumors or speculation in the marketplace. As any public Company, we issue announcements concerning executive appointments and departures at the appropriate time."

Since all of Sun US is on vacation this week - a July 4 tradition - it clearly was not the appropriate time to issue an announcement.

McClain, however, did confirm his departure when reached on his cell phone.

"Yeah, unfortunately or fortunately, I guess, I can confirm what you heard.

"I continue to live in Austin, Texas where Waveset was based and running the Sun software marketing team which is largely based in California just became too much of a personal sacrifice. I was spending too much time going back and forth. It's one of those same, old stories. I'm trying to spend more time with my family."

Aside from its Java success, Sun has long struggled to generate much cash with its infrastructure applications and management software. In particular, Sun tried and failed many times to crack the once lucrative application server market. The company just acquired SeeBeyond, hoping to complete its Java Enterprise System stack of products.

This makes McClain's exit particularly painful as Sun could use some fresh, creative blood to push products along. ®

Related stories

Linux lovers must wait until 2007 for SCO vs IBM showdown
Can Sun turn SOA rhetoric into weapon against IBM and SAP?
MS accused of killing pen computing pioneer Go
Java gets mobile at 10
Microsoft uses $850m to kiss and make up with IBM


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021