What do MySQL staff think of the acquisition?

It finally dawned on me while reflecting on the year past this Sunday that the missing voice since the announcement of the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems (and therefore MySQL) has been the MySQL employees.

When I worked as an employee for MySQL Inc, the acquisition by Sun Microsystems in 2008 lead to several requirements about the acquisition.

  • You were not allowed to talk about the acquisition publically.
  • You were not allowed to communicate with any Sun (i.e. the acquirer) resources.

In other words it was “business as usual” which is really an oxymoron, because business will never be exactly as it was before the announcement. The ongoing delay in pending acquisition by Oracle Corporation is really hurting everybody with getting on with doing their jobs, being happy with their work, and making a difference in open source and in the lives of all the benefit from using MySQL.

I’m sure many that have words to say are disappointed, worried or even fearful of their own future careers. Comments are always welcome via Mr Anonymous using 10 minute email.

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12 Responses to “What do MySQL staff think of the acquisition?”

  1. Justin Noel says:

    I’m in the telecom industry. Needless to say, I’ve been through many such acquisitions/mergers over the last 12 years. The limitations you described above are very common when 2 companies are getting together. The company does not need nor want every employee out there talking about what they may actually know little about. Loose lips can actually kill the deal if information about competition, other mergers, etc is disclosed.

    So, for everyone that will believe these limitations are some conspiracy of the Evil Oracle (as they are being made out to be), it is simply not true. All companies notify their employees of these restrictions.

  2. Arjen Lentz says:

    Indeed. Of course the delays are, strictly speaking, separate from concerns about MySQL as part of Oracle. I think that overall, the Oracle deal is good for Sun – but I do have serious concerns for MySQL. For those looking from the inside, the two might be difficult to separate though.

    For me (outside view of course but I know how the inside looks ;-) , a “just get on with it” does not quite cut it, because a) MySQL is a concern that deserves more serious consideration than merely serving investors or short term issues and b) realistically lots of people are going to get laid off over time anyway when the deal goes through.
    From that, letting the deal go through right now is not going to be any more beneficial to existing Sun/MySQL employees, although it would of course shorten the uncertainty (possibly – the uncertainty won’t instantly disappear when the deal goes through).

  3. Henrik Ingo says:

    Hi Ronald

    You hit the nail on the head with this one! There are many opinions, but only the “correct” opinions can be said in public.

  4. Here’s a notion — perhaps most of us are still happy enough with our jobs that we’re not willing to risk them by taking you up on your kind offer. Appreciate the thought, though. :)

  5. Domas says:

    Henrik, you suck, here, seriously. Or you’re inventing stuff.

    You should know that only few people are authorized to comment on the merger, and that is usually done via press releases.

    It is not about ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’, and here you imply that nobody wants to speak for the merger? Seriously, at this point you should apologize everyone and shut up. It is not insightful, it is not funny, it is pure trolling of your camp.

  6. ronald says:

    Justin, I never implied that these restrictions were Oracle, and I never referred to Oracle as evil.

  7. ronald says:

    To the Unknown MySQLer

    That’s great news, I’m sure people would like to know that your still happy with your job.

    The post was not about saying everybody was unhappy, it was about the ability to be able to provide a comment because many are not permitted to, and this has lead to a one sided discussion.

    Do you feel that everybody in MySQL feels the same way you do?

  8. ronald says:

    Henrik,

    I don’t agree with you, while all people are not allowed to speak, how then can you determine the “correct” opinion.

  9. Mark Callaghan says:

    Domas,
    I disagree with you. It is the Unknown MySQLer who ruined this post. It was fitting that a post dedicated to the silence of MySQL employees on the merger discussions had no comments from MySQL employees. Now he/she/it has ruined that.

    Arjen’s speculation and Henrik’s complaint don’t belong here either.

  10. Jack says:

    I would expect that everybody who is unhappy about the transaction already left the company and can talk – there areemany Ex-MysQL people talking aloud …

  11. Mark, I’m not a MySQLer but one of these trolls.

    Encouraging people to write anonymous mails attracts us :-)

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