Truly Fair Disclosure

You have to hand it to Jonathan Schwartz and Sun. They’re doing some really interesting things. This time I’m not talking about ZFS or Dtrace, but rather this announcement about information disclosure:

We’ve got our fourth quarter (Q4) and full 2007 fiscal year earnings announcement coming up on Monday, July 30th.

I wanted to alert everyone to a change we’ll be making this quarter – related to how we publish those results, and going forward, other timely information about our financial performance. It’s a small, but exceptionally symbolic change.

I’ve asked our investor relations (known as “IR”) and press relations (“PR”) teams to gear up to announce our results via Sun’s web site and RSS feeds. We will announce our results to the general public via Sun’s IR web site before making that same information available through the third party news services that traditionally distribute such information to paying subscribers. We will simultaneously file a Form 8-K with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (for their redistribution).

Specifically, we will publish our results to this web site on July 30th at 1:00 PM (Pacific Time), which will in turn be disseminated via open syndication protocols (namely, RSS) to those who have subscribed to Sun’s news feeds. 10 minutes after publication to the internet, we will distribute this information via traditional news wires for dissemination to private news agencies and distribution vehicles.

Referencing a dialog we’ve established with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and its Chairman Cox, this will place, for the first time, the general investing public – those with a web browser or a cell phone – on the same footing as those with access to private subscription services. In effect, driving an open dialog directly with investors, rather than routing information through proprietary sources. Open is as open does.

I believe this change will increase the transparency of our business, fulfill our desire to disseminate information on a fair and equitable basis, and allow the network to be used for what it’s intended – connecting people and information.

As noted, this is a first for a public company and Sun should be commended for the transparency shown here. Here’s hoping that others follow.


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