Retirement not so sunny for CFO

Four years after retiring, Sun's former CFO Mike Lehman has returned to his old job

After a four-month search, Sun Microsystems has found someone to replace outgoing chief financial officer Steve McGowan — his predecessor.

Michael Lehman, who held Sun's CFO position during the company's dot-com glory days between 1998 and 2002, stepped back into the numbers man's position late last month.

Lehman retired from full-time work when he left Sun in 2002. He remained close to the company, however, serving on its board of directors. Upon re-taking the CFO role, Lehman resigned from the board. McGowan will stay on at Sun for several months as executive vice president of finance to ensure a smooth transition.

"Having now tried retirement briefly, I find that I like being involved in leading change and driving the business more directly," Lehman said in a statement before taking up his old role.

Lehman's surprise return may signal further changes ahead for Sun, according to Goldman Sachs analysts Laura Conigliaro and David Bailey. "Mr. Lehman is probably not a change agent by himself but, at the same time, he does provide continuity... and the suggestion that more change is coming," they wrote in a research note.

Sun has struggled since Lehman's previous tenure, and has only rarely reported profitable quarters over the past five years.

News site cnet reported that according to a recent regulatory filing in the US, Lehman's salary is US$700,000 (NZ$1.05 million) and he has been granted 350,000 shares of restricted stock and options to buy 500,000 common stock shares.