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High Five: Meet Rich Green, Executive VP Of Software For Sun MicrosystemsHigh Five: Meet Rich Green, Executive VP Of Software For Sun Microsystems

Rich Green joined Sun Microsystems in 1989 as a manager in the software tools division. Working with Sun software luminaries Bill Joy and James Gosling, Green helped change the face of computing by introducing a Unix-based operating system called Solaris and expanding the impact of a programming tool known as Java. He also oversaw Sun's litigation against Microsoft, which netted Sun $1.6 billion.

Larry Greenemeier

May 11, 2007

2 Min Read

Photograph by Eric Millette
Rich Green
Executive VP Of Software For Sun Microsystems
Interview by Larry Greenemeier

Rich Green, Executive VP Of Software For Sun Microsystems


Green became responsible for Java in 1999, and he worked to increase its potential for application portability. "I saw opportunities to move Java to mobile devices and servers," he says. "But it took awhile before cell phones were powerful enough to do more than just make phone calls."


Green drives a hybrid Toyota Prius. "It's absurd to build a device that's wasteful," he says. Before that, he drove a General Motors EV1, the electric car GM discontinued in 2004, which he charged by plugging it in at home or on Sun's campus. "It was zero emission and perfectly quiet."


Green left Sun in 2004 to help found Cassatt, a maker of system virtualization software. "I wanted to move to something much smaller where I could more broadly impact all aspects of the business."


There's been a transition in the computing world from applications to content, Green says. "You don't run things, you play things."


Green returned to Sun in May 2006, excited at the company's embrace of open source. "After 14 years at Sun, it's a hard place to get out of your blood," he says. "I'm in the same office I was in when I left. I can see the Dumbarton Bridge from here."

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