Management changes at Sun Microsystems will see regional director Vito Bonafede leaving the company, to be replaced by industry veteran Tom Pegrume. Other restructuring moves, including a BEE equity deal, will unfold over the next few weeks.

The company yesterday announced that it will reorganise its operations in the developing markets of Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean., restructuring countries in these three geographies into one market unit to be named EMMA (Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa). This unit will be headed by Steve Furniss, who has been named vice-president for the new region.
Furniss is a 10-year Sun veteran and was previously EMEA chief of operations for Sun's global sales and services organisation.
Sun’s operations in Russia, the former CIS countries and central Europe, previously part of the company’s Southern and Eastern EMEA region, will become part of its Central and Northern Europe region.
The sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, will be part of the reorganised EMMA market unit and Tom Pegrume has been appointed as regional director for this region with immediate effect. Pegrume’s areas of responsibility include South Africa as well as the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.
“Demand for Sun products and services in Africa has increased significantly over the past two years. We are aggressively evaluating this market and considering the best investment strategy to drive further growth,” he says. We’re looking at where and how to make the investments needed to capitalise on the opportunities for growth.”
Pegrume says Sun is considering using both traditional resource investment and  strategic equity partners in a manner similar to that being piloted in North Africa.
Meanwhile, Vito Bonafede, current regional director for SSA, has resigned to pursue interests outside the IT industry. He will remain at Sun until 31 March 2008, with a mandate to ensure the company’s compliance with six of the seven pillars of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE).
Sun SA, under Pegrume’s leadership, will appoint a country manager to lead the local operation and to take it to full BBBEE compliance, including equity ownership. This position will be filled as soon as possible.
“Sun Microsystems is committed to meeting fully the requirements of BBBEE in South Africa. This reorganisation is further indication that we are serious about taking the steps necessary to meet these commitments,” says Pegrume.
Furniss says Sun’s consistently improving performance around the world in recent years has enabled the company to focus on driving further penetration of markets that share similar growth characteristics.
“There has been a significant improvement in the performance and stability of the economies of Russia, the former CIS countries and Central Europe. We believe the time is right to align Sun’s operations in these countries with our other operations in central and northern Europe,” says Furniss.
“Markets in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe have high growth potential that requires a particular focus and investment model to be realised. It is this opportunity to expand significantly Sun’s penetration of these markets that is the basis of this reorganisation."