As you know, I’m a big believer in the transparency blogging drives for me and Sun. Driving information to the marketplace – all employees at Sun can speak their minds and clarify our strategies and perspectives, rather than having a pundit or competitor talk over us. And in reverse, driving information in to Sun – if there are problems to be found in our business, I’d just as soon they were in the open, rather than hidden away. We (and true, the rest of the world) can see and fix problems first, rather than letting those uninterested in fixing the problems take advantage of their existence (whether competitors or litigants). Sunlight’s a great disinfectant.
As a CEO who blogs, the most frequent question I get is, “doesn’t this drive your lawyers nuts?” And as I’ve said, no. Our legal team understands, guides, drives – and protects – our business. All without sneaking into phone booths to change costume. And with technology, regulation and our products all colliding in the marketplace (is it legal to scream “SOX!” in a theater filled with CEO’s?), I sleep better at night knowing they’re actively engaged.
If you want evidence that navigating today’s business environment requires careful thinking, consider one particularly ironic issue: posting material information about Sun on my blog, including information about our business results, runs the risk of violating something called Regulation Full Disclosure, or Reg FD. The regulation’s goal is to ensure broad, non-exclusionary distribution of material information to the investing public. And somehow, my blog isn’t deemed to be such a non-exclusionary distribution vehicle (but a press release, or the Wall Street Journal is). Reg FD is something we’re going to be discussing with Commissioner Cox at the SEC (whose views seem to parallel ours – the more transparency the better).
Are our lawyers in the way? The opposite, they’re driving the change. Want proof?
Very quietly, this week, our General Counsel – the senior most lawyer in all of Sun – started a blog. It’s here. He, too, is now the only member of his tribe, the only GC in all the Fortune 500 to have a blog.
Now the real question should be (especially if you know Mike), am I worried about what he’s going to say?
(Joke, Mike, take a joke.)