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Sun reorganizes to hone business focus

The technology giant unveils a corporate structure designed to improve quality and focus on customer demand.

Sun Microsystems today unveiled a corporate structure designed to improve quality and focus on customer demand.

Under the new structure, the technology giant's divisions will be grouped by the functions they perform, rather than products they produce. Its computer and semiconductor development units, for instance, are being merged into the Systems Products Group, which will be run by Sun veteran John Shoemaker.

Sales functions will be combined into a new Global Sales Operations Group headed by Masood Jabbar, formerly head of the Computer Systems Group.

Sun also created a Customer Advocacy Group, which will concentrate on product quality and "uptime," or the elimination of crashes. Mel Freidman, formerly the chief of the company's Microelectronics Group, will head this division.

The changes will take effect July 1.

"Every successful company maintains a fluid and constantly changing organization," Edward Zander, chief operating officer of Sun, said in a statement. "This realignment will put even greater emphasis on a single face to the customer...and increased focus on product execution. It also gives us an opportunity to create a cross-company focus on availability and quality."

Reorganizations aren't rare at Sun. In the past, the company has often juggled executives and divisions.

This sort of grouping has been used by several companies and often is Intel divides to conquer? intended to help create more focused products. Earlier this month, Intel said it was merging its main product development and sales groups so it could more readily prepare products that are targeted to specific customer segments.

Microsoft has adopted a similar structure.

Freidman, Jabbar and Shoemaker will report directly to Zander. All three are Sun veterans.