Paraphrasing Henry Ford, “You think you can, or you think you can’t – either way, you’re right.” That quote struck me as the perfect summary of our fiscal year 2007 performance. We did what we said we’d do a year ago.
As you may have seen, we’ve announced our fourth quarter and full fiscal year results (our fiscal year ends with the school year, in June). We exceeded the commitments made a year ago, to restore Sun to 4% operating profitability in Q4, and did so by delivering our single best operational quarter since 2001. On an annual basis, we improved Sun’s profitability by over a billion dollars. A billion. We grew revenue, expanded gross margins, streamlined our operating expenses – and closed the year with an 8% operating profit in Q4, more than double what some thought to be an aggressive target a year ago.
We did this while driving significant product transitions, going after new markets and product areas, and best of all, while aggressively moving the whole company to open source software (leading me to hope we can officially put to rest the question, “how will you make money?”).
And we’re not done – not by any stretch of the imagination. We have more streamlining to do, more commitments to meet, more customers to serve and developers to attract. But it’s evident we’ve got the right foundation for growing Sun – with real innovation the market values, as shown by Q4’s 47% gross margins, the highest on record in five years.
I’ll be with a variety of external audiences most of this week – and I’ll summarize their questions and comments in a few days. In the interim… to our customers, partners, and most of all, our amazing global employee base – thank you for thinking we could.
You were right.
Keep thinking that way. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.