Golden parachutes for top Sun execs revealed

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz will receive a severance package of about $12 million and co-founder Scott McNealy will get around $9.5 million

If Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems goes as planned, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz will receive a severance package of about $12 million, and co-founder and chairman Scott McNealy will get around $9.5 million, according to a proxy statement filed last week.

The severance packages are large, though not on the scale of the $21 million-plus paid to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, or the whopping $210 million severance paid to former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli.

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The agreements don't necessarily mean that the Sun executives will leave the combined firm once the deal is done. Indeed, the proxy statement noted that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison "spoke generally" to McNealy "about a role" in the combined company but added that no agreement had yet been reached.

Independent analyst Rob Enderle said that at first glance, the severance packages for the Sun executives don't appear to be excessive.

"Schwartz's severance package appears to be in line with his salary and within range of other packages in [Silicon] Valley, so I think it will be hard to sustain an argument that it is uniquely excessive," Enderle said.

Sun shareholders are scheduled to vote July 16 on whether to accept Oracle's $7.4 billion bid for the company.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

This story, "Golden parachutes for top Sun execs revealed" was originally published by Computerworld.