Mike Dillon is not an ordinary blogger. He's currently working for Sun Microsystems where he's holding three positions as General Counsel, Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary, as said his official bio. But as SYS-CON Media recently reported, he also opened a blog about ten days ago, becoming the first Fortune 500 GC to start a blog. Does he have interesting things to say? Definitively yes, but read more...
Mike Dillon's blog is aptly named the legal thing... and contains already six posts. Below are some excerpts.
In his second post, Dillon acknowledges the fact that Sun was eliminating 5,000 jobs, as Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz also wrote two months ago (read more). But Dillon decided to 'help' people who lost their jobs by allowing them to continue to speak on Sun's community forums.
Many of the employees who are impacted are also active members of our blogging community. Naturally, the question is what do we do? Should we shut off their access to blogs.sun.com? That is [the] choice most companies would make. Indeed, some attorneys advised that we take this approach. The thinking was that it would minimize disruption, negative external perceptions and reduce the risk of litigation.
Here's what we did instead. We created a site for all former employees to blog as part of our Sun alumni community. I have to admit that I held my breath when the site went live. But, far from being a magnet for angry ex-employees or litigation, the site has developed into a wonderful and supportive community made up of some very talented and creative people. For those of you seeking these types of employees.
And the result of this initiative is community.sun.com. Very brave, and very bright...
Now, let's move to another post about the diversity of people working at Sun -- and more generally in Silicon Valley.
Once a quarter, we pick an employee who describes, in a recorded presentation, the business, legal, and social environment in which he or she works. Personal insights are often provided as well. It's an interesting way for someone working in the Bay Area or Bangalore to understand what it is like to work in Dubai, or Budapest or Caracas or...
Of course, you might think it's just a clever -- and cheap -- way to make people feel better. Don't be that cynical!! It really works, as long as there is no exaggeration.
Now, I want you to look at what a Sun executive is talking about with his son.
Last night, my son asked me "what kind of computers does your company make?" I was eager for the opportunity to get him excited about what I do and where I work. So, I told him about our new X64 enterprise systems. I even tried discussing our plans to open source Java. In the end, I failed miserably. Instead, of childish wonder, all I saw in his eyes was polite boredom.
You see, his 10-year old frame of reference consists of the Apple systems we use at home (love my new MacBook Pro). This was disappointing for me. I wanted him to be proud of where I work and at least minimally competitive in that classic playground duel of..."My dad works at...". Granted I didn't expect to dethrone the traditional incumbents, but a father has to dream.
Congratulations to Mike Dillon for entering the blogosphere! Sometimes, it's even a more difficult 'universe' than the corporate world.
And when a high-ranked executive of a company like Sun writes he's using a Mac at home, I'm willing to trust him -- and his company. Do you agree with me or do you think I'm too candid? Please let me know.
Sources: Various links mentioned above
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