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2/6/2009
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MySQL CEO Marten Mickos Leaves As Sun Reorganizes

The company is combining its software infrastructure organization with its database group to form a unified open source product group.

Sun Microsystems on Friday announced it's combining its software infrastructure organization with its database group to form a unified open source product group under the leadership of Karen Tegan Padir, VP of MySQL and software infrastructure.

The change puts MySQL into the mainstream of Sun software products such as MySQL, GlassFish, and Identity Manager.

Marten Mickos, senior VP in charge of Sun's database group and former CEO of MySQL, is leaving the company as part of the reorganization.

"With the unification of the software groups, Marten Mickos, senior vice president of Sun's database group and former CEO of MySQL, will be transitioning out of Sun by the end of the company's third quarter," Sun said in a statement.

Mickos, who has made significant contributions to Sun's open source strategy and overall open source vision, said in an internal five-page memo that his departure is a personal one and has nothing to do with the performance of MySQL's business. The departure comes less than a year after Sun finalized its $1 billion deal to acquire MySQL.

Mickos, proud of his accomplishments, reportedly said MySQL sales for the quarter just ended were particularly strong, thanks to a recently closed multimillion-dollar deal that helped the company rack up its best quarter ever.

While he doesn't specifically say so, it appears Mickos may have grown somewhat weary of Sun's bureaucracy and may prefer something more entrepreneurial.

"I have made a decision to resign from Sun Microsystems," Mickos said in his letter to employees. "It's a personal decision that I made without anyone influencing me one way or the other (except perhaps my wife).

"My personality is such that I love the challenge of an unproven value proposition, and I love being the top policymaker, building new things. I feel that together, we have accomplished the task set by the owners in 2001, and I am now stepping aside to let the strong managers of the group take over and continue the ambitious business ramp-up."

Mickos' resignation comes shortly after that of Monty Widenius, the co-founder of MySQL, from Sun. However, Widenius was no longer closely connected with day-to-day operations.

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