Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thanks Rich Green

Rich Green, Executive Sun VP of Software, did a fantastic job leading Sun Software over these past two and half years (Rich came back to Sun on May 1st, 2006) and I am really bummed to see Rich leave. Rich oversaw the most important and significant changes to Sun's software portfolio that Sun has ever gone through since we transitioned from SunOS to Solaris.

Rich has had a long and impressive history with Sun. He was VP of the Java Group, where J2ME, J2SE and J2EE were defined and developed. Rich was personally responsible for the success of Sun's Java strategy and platforms. Obviously, Rich did a great job.

Prior to leading the Java organization, Rich was VP of the Solaris Products Group and prior to that he managed the design and development of distributed object systems, network communication products, desktop integration technologies, software development tools and database systems.

Rich was a real thought leader in Sun's open source software strategy. The acquisition of MySQL can also be credited largely to Rich as well.

Rich liked to say, "Volume Drives Value." This is a simple but powerful concept: the more developers there are on the network, the more compelling devices and services they create, the broader the market opportunity for Sun's network innovations - hardware, software and services.

On Monday November 13th, 2006 - Sun open sourced Java:

Rich said at the time, "This undoubtedly is the largest single open-source contribution in the history of IT."

Mike Dillon, Sun General Counsel was quoted at the time:

The transition was tedious and legalistic, said Sun General Counsel Mike Dillon. "Java Standard Edition contains about 6 million lines of code," Dillon said. "Our legal team [of 190 lawyers] had to go over it, line by line, and look for all copyright marks and third-party involvements. Where Sun didn't have the correct licenses, we had to contact the owners, one by one and determine the rights." In some cases, Sun had to settle with copyright owners. Dillon said the company considered some of the 200-plus open-source licenses but settled on the GPL because "it has the largest development community at this time driving innovation, and that is what Sun is striving for."

Something that Rich and I shared in common was that we both love the movie Annie Hall. Annie Hall has more great lines than any other movie that I can think of. Woody Allen played the character Alvy Singer in Annie Hall.

Alvy Singer: "I remember the staff at our public school. You know, we had a saying, uh, that those who can't do teach, and those who can't teach, teach gym. And, uh, those who couldn't do anything, I think, were assigned to our school."

Thanks for everything Rich. Best of luck to you in all your endeavours.