12 May 2003 Former Sun Microsystems president and chief operating officer Ed Zander is moving into the venture capital business, with his appointment as managing director of Silver Lake Partners, a four year old VC firm.
Fifty-six year old Zander stepped down from Sun in July last year, after a 15 year stint at the company. After 30 years in the technology industry — at Apollo Computer, Data General and Raytheon — Zander said that he wanted to learn something new.
“I think there are going to be some significant structural changes in our industry,” Zander told the Wall Street Journal. He added: “There are a whole lot of really good companies that I think could use some help”.
Silver Lake was set-up in 1999 to provide capital for restructuring, buy-outs and mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector, rather than investing in start-ups. At the time, its founders had anticipated a wave of consolidation in the technology industry.
The company raised $2.3 billion from a number of investment funds and wealthy individuals including Bill Gates and Michael Dell.
Silver Lake has been behind a number of major investments, including the leveraged buyout of disk drive maker Seagate Technology, a $200 million investment in contract manufacturer Flextronics and $200 million in network equipment maker Cabletron.