Another leading executive at Sun Microsystems has announced plans to retire in the summer, causing analysts to fear for the company's future guidance.
After more than 15 years at Sun, chief operating officer Ed Zander has said he will leave his current role in July, becoming the fourth major executive to announce an intention to quit the company by the summer.
Zander, 55, who is seen as Sun's top strategist, will hand all his responsibilities over to chief executive Scott McNealy.
Zander was once described in a top US magazine as "one of the most feared, respected and well-liked executives in computerdom who has transformed Sun into the leading producer of high-power computers".
McNealy admitted that he was sad to see Zander go. "Any company should be so lucky as to have a chief operating officer like Ed," he said.
Sun's shares fell to their lowest level since 1998 at the news, and analysts have expressed fears that the company could now lose direction.
However, Zander has declared that he will assist McNealy with the transition, and begin a teaching and mentoring role at Sun for the balance of the calendar year.
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