Sun's Open-Source Exec Departs In Wake Of Oracle Acquisition

Monday was the last day at Sun for Simon Phipps, according to a blog he posted that day accompanied by a photo of a setting sun. He did not provide details about why he was leaving or say whether his departure was forced or voluntary.

Phipps worked at Sun for just under 10 years and served as chief open-source officer for almost five years.

Much of the blog was devoted to what Phipps saw as the biggest open-source-related achievements at Sun. They included getting "some of the most important software in the computer industry released under free licenses that guarantee software freedom for people who rely on them, regardless of who owns the copyrights," including Unix, Java, key elements of Linux and software tied to Sun's Sparc chip.

But Phipps also cited some disappointments, including the failure to resolve a long-running dispute between Sun and the Apache Software Foundation about Apache's "Harmony" open-source implementation of Java SE. And Phipps lamented that, "despite the success of the open source software businesses, it still wasn't enough to rescue Sun in the end."

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Phipps said he hasn't decided what his next career move will be, "but I see so many friends finding exciting opportunities that I'm not especially concerned for now," he concluded.

Oracle, which has its own portfolio of open-source products, will become a major player in the open source arena with its acquisition of Sun's open-source software, including the MySQL database. But apparently that wasn't enough for Phipps to stay -- or keep him on the Oracle payroll.