Longtime Sun director Doerr to step down

Venture capitalist who helped launch company in 1982 won't run again when term expires in November.

Venture capitalist John Doerr, a Sun Microsystems board member since the computer maker's founding in 1982, will resign that post on Nov. 2.
John Doerr John Doerr

"On Aug. 30, 2006...Doerr notified Sun that he will not be standing for re-election as a director of Sun when his term expires on Nov. 2, 2006," Sun said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.

Doerr, 55, is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He also helped finance and is a board member at Google, Amazon.com, Intuit and other companies.

"(I) resigned for more time with family. The kids grow so fast," Doerr said in an interview. He also lavished praise on the company and board he's leaving: "Sun's in great shape: revenue momentum building, hot new products, a terrific management team and a strong board of directors."

He has stuck with Sun through several major changes, including the company's shift in the 1990s from a workstation maker to a server maker, its dot-com rise and fall, and the change to new Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz . Although Sun has shown recent market share gains and is in the midst of the latest of a series of major layoffs, the company isn't considered to be out of the woods yet financially.

Among other recent board changes at Sun, Mike Lehman resigned when he returned to the company's chief financial officer post; The Gap chairman Robert Fisher resigned in July; and Pat Mitchell, chief executive of PBS, joined in September 2005.

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Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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