"McNealy is not the right leader now," Thomas told vnunet.com. "He did a great job at taking it from a small to a medium company and taking it from a medium to a large company. But he's not good at sustaining it in a less than optimal economy."
Sun was considered one of the leading technology companies during the internet boom of 1999 and 2000. But the company suffered badly when the bubble burst, and has struggled to return to profitability.
"Just consider where Sun was in 1999 and how far the mighty have fallen," Thomas said.
The analyst recommended that the company takes away control from its engineers and pays more attention to customer needs.
She also pointed out that McNealy had a very tight grip on the company at times which hindered the decision making process.
But although some of Sun's competitors have proved more nimble and agile, the server maker has a strong legacy and its technology vision around networked devices is quickly becoming a reality, argued Michael Dortch, a principal analyst with the Robert Frances Group.
"Enterprise customers love new technology. But what they love most is to do business with companies that they think are going to be around for a while and have demonstrated the ability to weather uncertainty," Dortch told vnunet.com.
"You can argue all you want about how well Sun has been run, but it has demonstrated the ability to weather uncertainty in the marketplace."
McNealy's legacy includes moulding Sun around the idea of networked devices, Dortch pointed out. Having engrained that idea into the workforce, it will be hard for Schwartz to make any significant changes, he added.
Dortch went on to argue that that it is unlikely that the new chief executive will make any significant changes.
"Schwartz is too smart to muck about with a process that is heading in a good direction. I cannot imagine that Schwartz's agenda involves changing anything significantly at Sun," said Dortch.
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