The forever struggling Sun Microsystems is to have an injection of youthful exuberance to help calm the company’s death throes. Two new independent directors have stepped up to the plate, after the companies biggest investor stepped up its involvement in the company.
Sun and investment firm Southern Asset Management have reportedly entered an agreement that will strengthen the board with the two new recruits. The new directors will be given their new desks “as soon as reasonably practicable” according to a Sun press release.
The move comes after talks between the two companies on the ‘real’ value of Sun took place over a month ago. Southern Asset Management are currently Sun’s largest investor, owning 22 percent of the business, with 162 million shares worth $2.1 billion.
Sun recently announced planned redundancies of almost 7,000 of the worldwide workforce (20 percent of its 33,400) as part of a major restructuring that saw the company broken in to bite-sized chunks and spread across separate divisions. The job-cuts followed a $1.677bn net loss for the company’s first quarter, which was blamed on the state of the world’s economy.
Southern Asset Management is a company that is known for investing in struggling companies, that they feel can make money again. The company released a statement on the new board appointments: “With the appointment of two new directors, the recently announced restructuring, over $3bn in cash and a long history of cash generation, we are confident Sun is well positioned for long-term success.”
Whether Southern Asset Management have the ability to turn Suns fortunes around remains to be seen, however with $3 billion in spare cash floating around, they have given Sun a lifeline sorely needed.
Sun’s board currently consists of eleven directors, some of which have been with the company for nearly 30 years. Former CEO Scott McNealy and Jim Barksdale, the ex-president and CEO of Netscape Communication have been with the company since 1982 and 1999 respectively.