It’s been a busy week. My heart rate seems to have slowed just to the point where I can taste food again.
I want to start by thanking Sun’s global volunteers –
who every day work to improve the communities in which Sun operates around the world. I had the option of cancelling my volunteer commitments given this week’s events, but decided to keep it – and had the privilege to visit Blacow elementary school, and talk to a group of 1st grade students and their teacher about the internet. They showed me their StarOffice skills (no, I’m not joking), and when I asked how many of them had email accounts, about a quarter of the room raised their hand. These are first graders, mind you. (I asked one student who sent her email, and she said her Mom, but only when she travelled.)
So I’d like to thank the folks that organized my visit, Mrs. Lorenz for putting up with my questions about how many of her friends knew that OpenOffice was free (on Windows, too!) for all schools throughout the world, and the terrific first grade class for their outstanding presentations.
Earlier in the week, I hosted my first Leadership Conference as CEO. Sun’s Leadership Conferences bring together our global leaders twice a year to exchange ideas, discuss priorities, and share best practices. This year was a little unusual – Scott and I communicated his stepping up to Chairman, and my stepping up to CEO. We did so in front of a global town hall on the first day – we had nearly 20,000 (!) employees on-line to watch the event. You’ve already seen the speech I gave – it’s my last blog entry.
Emotionally, it was one of the toughest speeches I’ve ever given – and I want to thank those of you that added comments, and supported Scott on your own blogs, and throughout the media.
After my speech and a fairly thorough question and answer session, Scott left the auditorium – handing the keys to me, and saying, “I’m going to spend the next 90 days opening every door on the planet. Call me if you need me.” And then it was my Leadership Conference. It happened that fast.
The theme of this year’s event was simple: Growing. Through Pace and Transparency – it’s not just our products that are speeding up this year. We’re going to be driving unparalleled transparency into everything we do, precisely because it’s the most efficient mechanism to accelerate change throughout Sun. Transparency enables everything to go faster, invites accountability (to which most folks in large organizations aspire), and drives dialogue between Sun and the communities we serve.
So to answer the obvious, for those that have asked the question, “as CEO, will you continue blogging?”
Absolutely yes – count on it. (We’ll now be the only Fortune 500 company with a CEO that blogs – the first of many firsts to come.) It’s just one of many ways we’re going to turn Sun inside out – on our path to growing value (not just revenue or earnings).
And if you want to know who committed to redefining Sun Microsystems, it’s these folks, the global leadership team at Sun.
I’m the guy in the center wearing the tie – and before you ask, no, the dress code isn’t changing (and if you were going to be in a photo your mother would see (not this one, she doesn’t read my blog), you’d wear a tie, too).
In upcoming blogs, I’ll cover Greg Papadopoulos’s new role at Sun; and my priorities in the next 30 days.