Can Mickens make Eucalyptus a fortune?

Summary:Talent is scarce, and strategic talent is scarcer in open source than hens' teeth. Mickos has proven he has it, plus a strong dose of realism.

When mySQL co-founders Monty Widenius and Marten Mickos forked, it was Monty who made the early headlines with his opposition to the Oracle acquisition of Sun.

(Mickos is shown here in happier times, celebrating mySQL's purchase of Sun with Jonathan Schwartz. Mickos is on the left, looking like the executive on casual Friday, while Schwartz is the kid who just came off a tennis court.)

Of the two it was Mickos who got the Wall Street cred, probably because he wanted it. Getting someone to pay $1 billion for an open source project, as Sun did for mySQL, will make anyone take notice. He quickly took a perch as entrepreneur in residence at Benchmark Capital.

So it's no surprise he landed at one of Benchmark's investments. He has been recruited to be the new CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, the cloud software project that emerged from UC Santa Barbara.

Mickos shoved aside Woody Rollins as CEO. Rollins didn't jump ship, however. He took the post of chief financial officer.

None of this should surprise anyone. Talent is scarce, and strategic talent is scarcer in open source than hens' teeth. Mickos has proven he has it, plus a strong dose of realism. His willingness to push back against Widenius' objections to the Sun-Oracle deal did him no harm on Sand Hill Road.

Now let's see what he's got.

Topics: Software, Data Centers, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Open Source, Oracle

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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