We spend a great deal of focus and energy on hiring the right people into our organization. We want individuals who are strong technically, but who also have the other less tangible skills necessary to thrive at a company like Sun. Given our announcements of the last few days, it occurred to me that perhaps we can make the hiring process easier by focusing our efforts on recruiting the people who drive these. Why? Because they exhibit amazing stamina and perseverance in the face of constantly changing conditions and intense time pressure. All are qualities of a successful in-house legal professional.
This was evident in Monday’s announcement about our new alliance with Intel. This was a very comprehensive negotiation lasting more than three months, which resulted in Intel’s endorsement of Sun’s Solaris Operating System (including as an OEM) and Sun’s agreement to deliver new products based on Intel’s Xeon line of processors. The alliance also includes Intel’s support for the Java programming language and Netbeans IDE and provides for engineering, design and marketing collaboration between the two companies. Given the broad scope of this agreement, we had a cross-functional team, including more than a dozen attorneys, focused on the transaction. They’ve worked around the clock, including weekends and holidays to get this one closed. To all of them a big “thank you”. Bruce a “thank you” to your team as well. I’d had several people mention how much they appreciated the effort and professionalism of your folks. This always makes the long hours more tolerable.
We also announced this. To be candid, in-house attorneys rarely have the opportunity to work on such a complex transaction. In this case, KKR invested $700m in Sun in exchange for convertible senior notes and a right to propose a nominee to Sun’s board of directors. Concurrently with this transaction, Sun is also entering into a series of separate transactions known as “call spreads” which hedge the option inherent in the convertible notes. The effect is to offset potential dilution and raise the effective conversion price of the notes. Sound complicated? It is. But, thankfully, we have some people on the team (assisted by able outside counsel) who are not only smart, but who also view this type of work as “fun”. They also haven’t slept in several weeks.
And, lastly, this week there was this bit of news. All 34,000 Sun employees were behind the wheel for this one.