Sun's chief customer advocate to quit

Sun executive Larry Singer will leave the company after several years as a strategist and a prime liaison with customers.

Larry Singer, Sun Microsystems's advocate for its leading partners and customers and sometime colorful public mouthpiece of the company, will leave his job by Sept. 22.

Sun gave no reason for his departure. Sun is evaluating filling his position, while in the interim customer advocate responsibilities will be shared by all of Sun's executives.

Singer joined Sun in early 2003 as senior vice president of global market strategies and held a number of similar titles at the company, including vice president of global information systems strategy and strategic insights officer.

His main role was to develop and implement programs to more tightly integrate Sun's product, services and marketing teams with field sales operations and customers. Singer also headed Sun's competitive office, often providing pithy comments on the vendor's computer and chip rivals.

Before joining Sun, Singer was chief information officer of the State of Georgia where he headed the Georgia Technology Authority. He'd previously held positions with Texas Instruments and CA.

There's been plenty of movement among Sun executives this year, as some former managers like Rich Green and Peder Ulander have returned to the company and others including Mark Canepa and John Loiacono have headed out.

Jonathan Schwartz recently celebrated his first 100 days in his new role as Sun's chief executive officer after Scott McNealy, the long-time holder of that role, stepped down in April.

One of Schwartz's first moves as Sun CEO was an executive shake-up around the heads of the vendor's server and storage businesses. His next major decision was to commit to cut as many as 5,000 jobs at the company in Sun's latest restructuring plan designed to return the vendor to profitability.

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