Archive for February of 2010

February 08, 2010
Goodbye, Cruel Sun

On January 27th, the Oracle Corporation completed the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, my former employer.

The history of Sun's high ride and demise, and the continuing story of the newly-merged Oracle's fortunes, will occupy the minds of the IT industry and its pundits for a long time to come. I could easily go on and on about it, but that's not what I want to talk about here. Instead, I think that something should be pointed out about the way it all ended. It's another example of a phenomenon that's been covered extensively in political circles, and present in the public mind ever since the Wall Street collapse -- grotesquely extravagant compensation and golden parachutes for executives whose performance, on objective terms, can only be viewed as failure, compared to the burdens borne by laid-off rank-and-file employees who were far less responsible for the company's woes. What does this tell us about the Reaganist dogma of an unencumbered free market that currently has a powerful grip on the minds of almost everyone in the US ruling class? The circumstances of my own departure from Sun, under the laws and standards of a "socialist" European state, have something to say about that.

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