Sun Storage Honcho Gone

Fleischer leaves post after four years as storage group's chief technologist

May 6, 2005

2 Min Read
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Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: SUNW) struggling storage group got a reshuffle last month when Balint Fleischer left as VP and CTO of the network storage products group.

Sun did not announce Fleischers departure, but a company spokesman confirmed that his last day at Sun was April 22. Fleischer is a good friend and longtime colleague of Sun storage boss Mark Canepa. The two worked together in Sun’s desktop and storage group, and Fleischer joined Canepa in storage months after Canepa became executive VP of Sun storage in April 2001 (see Balint Fleischer, CTO of Sun's Network Storage Group).

“Balint decided to move on,” Sun spokesman Ryan Batty says. “I guess he’s looking for other exciting things out there.” [Ed. note: More exciting than Sun storage?]

No direct replacement has been named, but Batty says engineers who reported to Fleischer now report to the network storage chief architecture office led by Rod DeKoning.

Fleischer joined Sun in November 1992 from Encore Computer Corp. He moved into Sun’s storage group in October 2001 as chief technologist, then had the VP added to his title in November 2003. According to his job description at Sun, Fleischer was responsible for “development of the long-range vision and the management of the technology and architecture development within the Network Storage Product Group."Batty says Fleischer left on his own, although Sun’s storage performance has declined steadily in recent years. According to IDC figures, Sun storage revenue declined 7 percent year to year in 2002, 7.8 percent in 2003, and 5.6 percent in 2004. Over that span, Sun fell from fourth in worldwide storage sales to sixth.

Sun made a renewed storage push last year when it delivered a midrange system based on technology acquired in a 2002 acquisition of Pirus and began shipping NAS and a compliance box, but no gains have showed up in sales yet. In the first quarter of this year, Sun storage revenue declined 15.6 percent year over year and 12.8 percent from the previous quarter (see Storage Spending Slips and Sun Storage Slumps)

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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