John Paczkowski

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Exclusive: Sun CEO Set to Resign

schwartzIf Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s recent all-hands memo to employees had all the sentimentality of a farewell letter, it’s likely because he’s preparing to leave the company. Sources close to Sun (JAVA) tell me Schwartz will soon resign as CEO, leaving the company in the hands of new owner Oracle (ORCL) and its very profit-minded leadership. Schwartz’s departure will likely coincide with final approval of the deal and an official change in control of the company. Somebody’s got to sign off on the final paperwork, right?

An inevitability, I suppose. But one that’s evidently approaching quite rapidly. Word of Schwartz’s impending departure comes as Oracle gears up for a Wednesday event at which it plans to reveal its strategy for Sun.

When he was appointed CEO in April 2006, Schwartz was charged with restoring Sun to its glory days. Sadly, he was unable to do it. And while he came up with some some inventive strategies–buying MySQL, open-sourcing Java, and Solaris–none were of much benefit to Sun financially. So now, with the former Silicon Valley icon about to become another acquisition notch in Oracle’s belt, Schwartz is leaving.

But he’s leaving with his pockets full. According to Sun’s definitive proxy statement, Schwartz stands to earn about $12 million from the severance package he negotiated, plus another $5.1 million or so for the shares he still holds in the company.

“Go, Oracle,” indeed.

Sun declined a request for comment.