Scott McNealy
Chairman, president, and CEO
Sun Microsystems
Santa Clara, California

Our shrewdest move was not overreacting to the bubble or the bust. We monetized the bubble. We put a lot of money in the bank. We didn’t make huge acquisitions in markets we knew nothing about. We didn’t borrow money we didn’t need. Instead, we put away billions of dollars for a rainy day. Now it’s raining — and for longer than a day.

Because we were smart then, we don’t have to make dumb moves today. During the past nine months, we’ve gained more share from IBM and HP than in any other nine months in the company’s history. We didn’t have to slash and burn [R&D] like other companies, and we’re still spending roughly $2 billion on R&D annually.

Maintaining that commitment to innovation is critical: 80 percent to 85 percent of the stuff in our pipeline is less than a year old. It’s vital for us to keep rethinking, re-energizing, even cannibalizing our product line. Cutting off that development would be like Budweiser running out of beer.

Scott McNealy co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982 and has been CEO since 1984.