Sun stands by its man

Speculation has swirled that Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz was on the outs following the collapse of merger talks with IBM, but the company has issued a statement of support.

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's job appears safe for now following the collapse of negotiations with IBM. Stephen Shankland/CNET

After taking a beating in the stock market Monday following the reported collapse of a merger deal with IBM, Sun Microsystems stood by its leadership team.

Reuters reported that Sun declined to confirm the breakdown in negotiations, but did say "Sun is committed to its leadership team, growth strategy and building value for its shareholders." Speculation had been building that CEO Jonathan Schwartz was in trouble after The Wall Street Journal reported that Chairman Scott McNealy had quashed a possible deal with IBM over Schwartz's objections.

IBM and Sun had been talking for several weeks about a merger, according to reports, but talks broke down Sunday over the price to be paid for one of Silicon Valley's most iconic companies. Sun has struggled in recent years to translate its success during the last decade to the current period.

Sun's stock finished down more than 22 percent to close at $6.56 Monday, after rejecting IBM's last reported offer of $9.40 for the company's shares.

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