Sun's Shoemaker ready to step down

John Shoemaker, Sun Microsystems's executive vice president for computer systems, will retire on July 1 from his position overseeing the company's server and processor products, Sun said Tuesday.

Shoemaker, 59, plans to take on a part-time teaching position at Sun's Leadership Institute, Sun spokeswoman Kasey Holman said. Sun will not fill Shoemaker's position but instead will have three executives who previously reported to Shoemaker report directly to Ed Zander, president and chief operating officer at Sun.

Sun expects to complete this transition by July 1, Holman said.

In addition to overseeing hardware product development, Shoemaker was involved in managing inventory levels, plant utilization and workforce productivity at Sun, based in Palo Alto, California.

Shoemaker experienced both the best of times and worst of times during his last few years in Sun's hardware group. The company captured large amounts of server business during the dot-com boom and was the prime target for rivals in the Unix server segment. As the boom has came to an end, however, Sun has been hurt by slow sales.

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