Scott McNealy, who helped found Sun Microsystems in 1982 and has been its CEO for the past 22 years, has stepped down as CEO. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's COO, has replaced him. Schwartz, 40, joined Sun in 1996.
McNealy will remain as chairman.
The shift comes amid continued financial losses and market share losses at Sun. One of the brightest, brashest companies in the Internet era, Sun has reported lackluster results since. It got passed by IBM in servers and seen more of the market get gobbled up by machines running Intel chips. Sun has had to regularly lay off employees.
McNealy will focus his efforts on Sun's government and academic relationships globally, as well as expand his role with key strategic partner relationships. McNealy will also assume the role of chairman of Sun Federal, which focuses exclusively on U.S. government business.