Friday, 6 February 2009

MySQL Culture and Business Philosophy Goes Mainstream at Sun

MySQL is undergoing some organisational changes as part of Sun. MÃ¥rten Mickos (MySQL AB's CEO 2001-2008 and SVP at Sun 2008-) is moving on in his life, outside Sun. This is independent of Michael "Monty" Widenius' recent departure.

I've worked for MÃ¥rten ever since joining MySQL in 2001, in various capacities (VP Training, VP Consulting, VP Services, VP Engineering, CIO, and since 2005 VP Community Relations). I will obviously miss working with him. At the same time, I can understand and respect his decision to move on to something else, and wish him all the best, whatever his upcoming pursuits will be.

I owe MÃ¥rten much of what I've achieved in business during this century. I've known him since 1981, and counted him as a close friend ever since. Even if the era of working for the same company has come to an end, I look forward to spending some non-business-oriented time with him.

While parting ways can be very painful, I am certain that MySQL's culture and business philosophy will live on in Sun, thanks largely to MÃ¥rten's contribution. In fact, you could say MySQL now becomes mainstream at Sun. Former MySQLers continue in key positions, in some cases with a mandate to generalise and apply MySQL related learnings on other Open Source products. In fact, the newly formed organisation that MySQL now is part of includes GlassFish, Open SSO and Open ESB, thus making us part of the industry's by far largest open source based group. It is a natural evolution in becoming a regular product at Sun -- as opposed to being treated separate and different as we have for the past year. That time has been important for us to be "grafted" into Sun, but now it is time to move forward.

As anytime when the person at the top changes, other changes will certainly follow. The key point to remember here is that MySQL, the product, remains alive and well. Sun is completely committed to building a big open source based business and very much supportive of the various communities it is engaged in. In another blog, I will expand upon what this means for the future.


  1. It's definitely sad to see Marten leave. He was an exceptional CEO and not afraid to make the hard decisions, even against difficult odds.

    The good news is that there are many good managers within the organization. Karen Padir, who runs the middleware and identity engineering organization is a very good manager. We got to know her quite a bit over the last year and I think she will be well received.


  2. [...] MySQL Culture and Business Philosophy Goes Mainstream at Sun [...]

  3. I met MÃ¥rten when Karen, Bill and I talked with him, Zack, Kaj and a few others during the Holiday break in 2007 and I've enjoyed working with him at Sun since then. My best wishes to him on his new endeavors and I'm sure our paths will cross again.

    Looking forward, one of the positive things of the announcement is that I will get many more opportunities to talk and work with Kaj et al., as we both report into Karen. Looking forward to continuing to help MySQL grow.

    - eduard/o

  4. Does this mean MySQL will become more open source friendly, like Glassfish? I would like to see us recognize the community, and not simply point to how many users we have.

  5. [...] fallout Kaj Arno maintained that “MySQL’s culture and business philosophy will live on in Sun.” He added: [...]

  6. [...] “The key point is to remember that MySQL, the product, remains alive and well.” - Kaj Arno’s blog [...]

  7. I think the whole thing is SUN want to put Mysql 100% under under his leadership. This probably means more user friendly and more free software.