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Sun's John Gage joins Al Gore in clean-tech investing

Man who coined the phrase "the network is the computer" has left Sun Microsystems to become a venture capitalist with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

John Gage, the man who coined the phrase "the network is the computer," has left Sun Microsystems to become a venture capitalist.

Gage, Sun's fifth employee and its former chief researcher, will join the venerable firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to help grow its investments in clean technology.

Gage, which left Sun on June 1, said to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Everything we built at Sun sucks power. We've got to make a difference in where power comes from and how it's used."

Gage's departure follows a grim fiscal third quarter for Sun. In May, the server and software company announced a net loss for the three months that ended in March; and it said that it would cut between 1,500 and 2,500 jobs. The company had 34,400 employees at the end of the quarter. Now it has one less high-profile position.

Gage will join former Vice President Al Gore in KPCB's green-tech investing group. He will also rejoin former Sun boss Bill Joy, who's a partner at the venture firm.

Apart from his work at Sun, Gage is known for creating NetDay, a volunteer project established in 1995. It called on high-tech companies to commit resources to schools, libraries, and clinics worldwide so that they could connect to the Internet.