May 19, 2006 12:20 PM PDT

Live from San Francisco, Scott McNealy

SAN FRANCISCO--Life seems to be getting easier for Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy, now that he's turned over the reins to new CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

Freed from the burden of engineering a turnaround for the troubled server and software company, McNealy seems to be devoting his time and energy to comedy writing. His address to the JavaOne audience Friday at the Moscone Center here was, as he called it, "the warm-up act" for Java developer extraordinaire James Gosling, who demonstrated some new features of the NetBeans development environment. But as usual, McNealy got off the best lines.

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Video: McNealy's Letterman-style list
Scott McNealy took the stage on the last day of JavaOne to highlight Sun's mission--and joke about not being CEO.

"As some of you might know, I'm not the CEO anymore. I'm sure Jonathan told you," McNealy said, referring to his protege, Schwartz. "All of us in the leadership group at Sun are desperately trying to grow a ponytail."

It almost seemed like a retirement party for McNealy, who isn't going anywhere just yet, as he's chairman of Sun's board of directors and chairman of Sun Federal. He was presented with a golden statue of Duke, Java's mascot, and a plaque from Gosling commemorating McNealy's contributions to the development of the programming language.

Sun's co-founder drew the biggest laughs of the morning with his David Letterman-style Top 10 list, covering "the Top 10 best things about not being CEO."

No. 10: "I don't have to apologize for the stuff I say to Wall Street; Jonathan does."

No. 9: "I'm no longer on the most overpaid CEO list."

No. 8: "I just say, 'See Jonathan on that.'"

No. 7: "I read Hockey News without guilt."

No. 6: "I shave even less often."

No. 5: "No more SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) certifications to sign."

No. 4: "I have someone to blame now."

No. 3: "I can sell my last business suit."

No. 2: "Jonathan doesn't golf, so I guess I gotta do it."

And the No. 1 best thing about no longer being the CEO of Sun? "My new office is very close to the men's room."

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Scott McNealy, JavaOne, Sun Microsystems Inc., James Gosling, CEO


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