Sun picks right-hand folks for Schwartz

Appointments round out lead execs under the new CEO. Now investors will wait to see how it works.

Sun Microsystems has combined its two server divisions into one, a significant move in its effort to bounce back from sinking fortunes.

Executive Vice President John Fowler will head up the new Sun Systems Group, the company said Monday. That unit combines the Sparc systems group, which concentrates on servers with Sun's Sparc chips, and the x64 systems group, which makes servers with Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices. Previously, Fowler ran the x64 group.

Sun Systems will also be responsible for processor development at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company. In terms of revenue, Fowler's group will be the largest there.

David Yen, who used to run the Sparc group, will now oversee Sun's Storage Group as executive vice president. The storage market has high growth potential, but Sun has typically lagged behind competitors such as IBM.

Mark Canepa, the former head of the Sun storage unit, has decided to leave the company.

Both Fowler and Yen will report to new CEO Jonathan Schwartz, who this week is scheduled to give speeches at Sun's annual JavaOne conference and the Gartner IT Summit.

The appointments of Fowler and Yen round out the executive picture at Sun, which is undergoing a massive reorganization in an effort to return to profitability. Some old-time executives have taken off, and layoffs are being implemented.

Schwartz took over from former CEO (and still Chairman) Scott McNealy in April. Subsequently, Rich Green returned to Sun as executive vice president of software, and alumnus . Sun also elevated Don Grantham to executive vice president of global sales and services, and expanded the role of Chief Technology Officer Greg Papadopoulos. In February, before McNealy stepped down, the company also got a new chief financial officer, Mike Lehman.