Sun loses open source diva to Intel

Sun's most prominent open source advocate, Danese Cooper, has left for a job with Intel.

Sun's open source diva has left the building. After seven years as Sun's most visible presence in the open source community, Danese Cooper has left the computer maker to work on open source projects for Intel.

Cooper, who begins her new job Monday, had been a long-time proponent of open source software within Sun and is credited with steering the company in the direction of opening up its source code. She was instrumental in Sun's 2002 decision to allow open-source implementations of its Java specifications, and more recently she worked on Sun's OpenSolaris project, which was launched earlier this year.

With OpenSolaris now in the process of being released, it was simply time to move on, Cooper said in an interview Friday.

"OpenSolaris is a fascinating project, and I think it's going to be more interesting than the open-source community thinks. But it's kind of the last open-source project that they have queued up," she said.

During her six-year tenure at Sun, Cooper had repeatedly pushed the company to release Java under an open-source license, but she said Sun's ultimate reluctance to do so was not a factor in her departure. "I'm not going away mad. I don't have any bones to pick," she said.

Cooper will work within Intel's Channel Products Business Group, where she will report to Shane Wall, vice president and general manager of the group's channel software operation, she said.

She declined to comment what her new job would be, saying only, "I'm going to be working on open source stuff."

Cooper is not the only prominent Sun executive to depart this week. On Wednesday, the head of the Sun Services division, Marissa Peterson stepped down from her position. She will work on an confidential internal project and is expected to leave the company upon completion of that project, a Sun spokesman said.

Sun's services group will now be headed by Don Grantham, senior vice president of the Global Customer Services division.

Peterson had also served as head of Sun's worldwide operations. That job will now be handled by Eugene McCabe, senior vice president of worldwide operations.

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