Yesterday, one of the longest tenures in the tech space came to an end when Scott McNealy, one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems and for the last 21 years its CEO, announced he was stepping down (subscription required). The company has been struggling for years to extricate itself from the double whammy of the rise of Linux and the fall of dot-coms. We called it back in July of last year in our now-defunct CEO See-Ya at a time when McNealy insisted he wasn’t going anywhere.
But even McNealy saw the writing on the wall, it appears. Sometimes organizations simply need new blood to convince shareholders and employees alike that they’re serious about change. New CEO Jonathan Schwartz has already impressed a lot of people with his openness and passion for Sun’s offerings. But can he fill the shoes of the charismatic man who helped shape our networked world?