We must live in the 21st Century. Johnathan Schwartz, now the former CEO of Sun Microsystems, resigned from his post last night by tweeting a Haiku. His resignation is the final step in the total absorption of Sun into Oracle, which purchased Sun last week.
This is Schwartz’s tweet, the first-ever resignation by Twitter from a Fortune 200 company CEO:
An interesting way to resign, for sure, but some of Sun’s former employees and critics have rebuttals. Eric Savitz at Barrons found this one from a Yahoo! forum, which is quite funny:
Sorry, Jonathan / Don’t blame the economy / Blame poor leadership
The ponytailed CEO had an interesting career as the leader of Sun. He was kind of a love or hate figure, with people galvanized on both sides of the spectrum. Most believe that his initiative to move Sun from paid to open source software with revenues focused instead on the hardware around the software is what finally sunk the company into sell-off. The scheme, while innovative, appears to have not been well thought out or executed.
Schwartz was also very fond of social media, blogging regularly and tweeting often. In fact, originally his resignation was explained via his blog and the above tweet was sent as his last gesture as Sun’s CEO. When most chief executives are loathe to expose themselves to any kind of ridicule or possible lawsuits, this one took the opposite approach and welcomed an open style of management.
Whatever you think of his management and leadership style, one thing that Jonathan Schwartz has that has to be respected is his embracing of social media and outreach. He’s one of the few CEOs to have used it as a public relations tool without it coming off as a stiff-necked marketing stunt.