MySQL's Monty Widenius leaves Sun

Monty Widenius has left Sun, and given some of his conflicts with the MySQL executive team, it may come at just the right time.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

Valleywag is reporting that Michael ("Monty") Widenius, primary author of the original MySQL database and one of the company's founders, turned in his resignation to Sun yesterday. For those inside the MySQL team at Sun, this will likely prove bittersweet.

Bitter, because Monty has been such an important architect to the MySQL database's technical success. Sweet, because Monty sometimes took public positions against MySQL AB, the company that has been attempting to profit from the database.

Monty was involved in Drizzle, the MySQL fork that need not have been (and, in my opinion, should not have been). Monty publicly came out swinging against MySQL's plans to offer commercial extensions to the core MySQL database, contradicting and complicating the company's decision.

At this point, however, Monty has done the right thing with his dissent. He has taken it outside the company, as Arjen Lentz, MySQL's twenty-fifth employee, did before him. Arjen continues to be both a promoter and critic of MySQL, but is able to do so publicly without the constraints of an employee agreement.

I assume Monty will do the same, and rightly so. I'm sure MySQL/Sun will welcome Monty's feedback on both product and revenue strategy. But it will be a bit more palatable to have that coming from outside the company, rather than appearing to come from inside the company, in contradiction to the company's public position.

I, for one, wish Monty the best. He has been a great asset to MySQL as an employee. No doubt he will continue to be such as an interested observer outside the company. So what's behind Door Number Three, Monty?