MySQL Founder, Michael “Monty” Widenius: So Long Sun

Posted Feb 7, 2009

Michael “Monty” Widenius is one of the original founders of MySQL.  As you may recall, MySQL was acquired by Sun Microsystems for about $1 billion.  Widenius is planning on launching a storage engine company and will be opening a restaurant.  Widenius will be using MySQL for customer service purposes in his new restaraunt venture.

So why is Monty leaving now? Basically he is unhappy the way that MySQL is being handled by Sun.  He believes that he can make more meaningful contributions to the open source database software outside of the company.  MySQL AB was started by Mony and David Axmark around 1995.  Last year MySQL 5.1 was released with some fata bugs.  Monty believed it was ready to be shipped at the time and wrote a blog post about it.

One of the names that Monty called out for the MySQL problems is Mårten Mickos, SVP of Sun’s database group.  Mickos has served as the former CEO of MySQL AB from Jan. 2001 until the time that the company was acquired.

“Sun and I concluded in the end that I have much higher chances of achieving my goals outside of Sun, so it’s just better to swallow the bitter apple, go out and get things going. We parted in good terms and we both expect to continue to do business and work together,” wrote Monty on his blog.  “I would have like to see the server development to be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up the server development, but the pace has been too slow.”