Sun CEO resigns in (Japanese) style - on Twitter

Sun boss Jonathan Schwartz tweeted his resignation in a haiku. Could Cadbury chiefs do the same?

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

At some time in your career, you’ve probably dreamed of a Jerry Maguire-style resignation – where you walk dramatically out of the office, loudly settling some scores with all those people you never really liked. Of course, the reality tends to be rather more prosaic – an anodyne letter, followed by a few drinks at your local on a Friday night. But outgoing Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz, who’s surplus to requirements following the takeover by Oracle, has done it in some style: last night he announced his resignation on Twitter, in the form of a haiku. A strange mix of the ancient and modern…

‘Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it,’ Schwartz told his followers last night – thus confirming the departure everyone was expecting after the EU gave Oracle’s takeover bid the thumbs-up earlier this week. He then went on to say that it seemed ‘only fitting to end on a haiku’. Presumably this is because he’s rather fond of the traditional Japanese poetic form, as opposed to it being fitting because he employs lots of Samurai warriors, or because an IT company sees 17th century Japan as its spiritual home, or because it’s the kind of crazy whacky thing that goes on all the time at laugh-a-minute microsystems providers. Anyway, his offering was: ‘Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more’. Suitably frank and pithy.

In some respects, Schwartz’s choice of Twitter as the vehicle for his resignation wasn’t surprising. The now-ex-Sun boss has been a big fan of social media ever since he took the job in 2006, regularly blogging on Sun’s website and posting updates on Twitter under the username of OpenJonathan. As the name suggests, the idea was presumably to convey an image of transparency and openness – which even now is relatively uncommon from senior execs. They might well argue that they have more important things to worry about at the moment, but it seems to us to be a good way of humanising big corporations.

Either way, we reckon it would be nice if the outgoing top brass at Cadbury were to follow suit. Chairman Roger Carr, CEO Todd Stitzer and CFO Andrew Bonfield are all leaving the (former UK – boo hoo) business after Kraft got the shareholder votes it needed to complete its takeover this week. So why not go out with their very own haiku? Here’s our opening gambit:

Kraft consumes Cadbury
Britain makes cheesy chocolate
Too hard to digest

Any advances?

In today's bulletin:

Bank stops printing money - for now
1,000 job cuts in the pipeline at Shell as profits slide
Toyota counting the cost of 8m safety recalls
Sun CEO resigns in (Japanese) style - on Twitter
Good customer service not enough to rescue banks

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Is it favouritism to protect an employee no one likes?

The Dominic Cummings affair shows the dangers of double standards, but it’s also true that...

Masterclass: Communicating in a crisis

In this video, Moneypenny CEO Joanna Swash and Hill+Knowlton Strategies UK CEO Simon Whitehead discuss...

Remote working forever? No thanks

EKM's CEO Antony Chesworth has had no problems working from home, but he has no...

5 rules for work-at-home productivity

And how to focus when focusing feels impossible.

Scandal management lessons from Dominic Cummings

The PR industry offers its take on the PM’s svengali.

Why emails cause conflict

And what you can do about it.