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No Joy in Sunville

UPDATED -- Sun Microsystems announced today that co-founder and chief scientist Bill Joy (below) is leaving the company. Greg Papadopoulos, chief technology officer and executive vice president, will take over the duties of Joy, who was with the company for 21 years.

"I am very proud of my accomplishments and the strong team we have built over the last two decades," said Joy in a statement. “I wish all those who continue at Sun great success in carrying on those things I have helped start, as well as all their other and future endeavors."

Joy claimed important roles in the design and development of the company’s Solaris OS and Risc-based Sparc microprocessor. His departure comes as Sun considers declining sales in the aftermath of an Internet boom from which it benefited.

In recent years Joy has taken on a public role as something of a technology visionary and gadfly. He is the author of the forthcoming book “Why the Future Doesn't Need Us: How 21st Century Technologies Threaten to Make Humans an Endangered Species.”

At a press conference at Oracle World in San Francisco, Scott McNealy, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Sun, credited Joy as a visionary. “Bill is very good at looking out over the horizon,” he said. “What he’s given us is something special.”

But, he continued, “Bill and I are old geezers, and we need some young blood.”

McNealy said Joy’s departure was on cordial terms. “Bill and I are best buddies; it’s been very amicable and very positive,” he said.

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