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Sun evacuee Mickos lands at cloud start-up RightScale

Open source ringleader Mårten Mickos and former windmill-tilter-in-chief at developer darling MySQL, apparently couldn’t bear the gilded cage of Sun’s “Senior Vice President” offices. He fled Sun in February and now he’s signed on the Board of Directors at RightScale, the burgeoning cloud management start-up that is, akin to MySQL, built on open source software and that already owns a tidy piece of the Amazon middleware market.

Written statements from CEO Micheal Crandell and Mickos have a fair share of the usual blather:

“I am extremely pleased that Mårten will be contributing to the vision and direction of RightScale at a time of explosive growth for the company and the industry,” said Michael Crandell, RightScale CEO. “Mårten has proven to be one of the industry’s most innovative leaders, and we hope to tap his experience as we aggressively expand RightScale’s cloud management offerings to new markets.”

“RightScale has established itself as a leading cloud management platform, and the company continues to demonstrate tremendous momentum as its customer base and ecosystem expand with strategic partners like Sun and Canonical,” noted Mickos. “I look forward to offering my experience as a member of the RightScale board to help the company maintain and expand its leadership in a rapidly growing market.”

Mickos is a top gun in the IT world, but RightScale is only a venture-capital funded company at this point. Sun is, well, part of Oracle now, but it makes RightScale look like small fry.

What’s behind Mickos’ move? Does he really want a new challenge? Did he know about Oracle eating Sun? Inquiring minds want to know.

It’s not entirely clear what Mickos’ new role will be, but it’s always safe to assume that if they announced the news, they want you to know, whatever their reasons. Stayed tuned.

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