Jonathan Schwartz was a trailblazer in leveraging the Internet as the platform for influencing others with his ideas. As CEO at Sun Microsystems, he was the first Fortune 500 CEO to open up his own blog. It seems fitting then that he’s the first Fortune 200 CEO to resign via Twitter.
His short Haiku tweet (pictured above) illustrates both the good and bad of having visionary leaders at the control of their own digital communications. In one sense, it’s incredibly authentic for his former employees and customers. On the other hand, the communications folks at the newly merged Oracle-Sun are probably less than pleased that Mr. Schwart’z haiku beat an amicable separation statement.
As the Internet continues to push ahead as the leading thought leadership platform for both Internet visionaries (have you seen The Gates Notes?), and those looking to leverage the Internet for more power, the question remains – what role do communicators play? Would Schwartz have benefited from communicators that could contribute, shape context and augment his opinions? Maybe and maybe not (At least up until his last tweet). However, there aren’t too many CEO’s willing and able to take the time and effort needed to build the following that Schwartz did online.