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Ex-Sun CEO takes high road after Ellison attack

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Sun Microsystems Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz is taking the high road after getting a public tongue lashing from Silicon Valley's richest man, Larry Ellison.

Ellison, whose Oracle Corp <ORCL.O> bought Sun in January, heaped blame on Schwartz for Sun's myriad failures, saying he ignored problems as they escalated, made poor strategic decisions and spent too much time working on his blog, which Sun translated into 11 languages.

"The underlying engineering teams are so good, but the direction they got was so astonishingly bad that even they couldn't succeed," Ellison said in a recent interview with Reuters.

(Click on http://static.reuters.com/resources/media/editorial/20100513/Oracle.pdf to see a Reuters special report)

When asked by Reuters if he wanted to respond, Schwartz replied in a cryptic email on Friday that would not be available to talk until after August.

"Until then, Larry's an outstandingly lovely, flawless man," Schwartz said.

He did not say why he won't talk now. But it might be because he is writing a book about life atop of Sun. In February, Schwartz sent a message to his followers on Twitter that he was thinking about penning such a memoir.

Sun, which specializes in making high-end computer servers, has never recovered from the dot-com bust and was sold to Oracle in January for $5.6 billion.

The best account we have from Schwartz on Sun's decline is a simple haiku that he Tweeted as he left the company in February: "Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more"

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Chang)

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