Scott McNealy (born November 13, 1954) is an American businessman. He co-founded computer technology company Sun Microsystems in 1982 along with Vinod Khosla, Bill Joy, and Andy Bechtolsheim. As of September 2012 he is chairman of Wayin, based in Denver.
In 1982, McNealy, who was then manufacturing director at Onyx Systems, vendor of microprocessor-based Unix systems, was approached by fellow Stanford alumnus Vinod Khosla to help provide the necessary organizational and business leadership for the fledgling company. The name “Sun” was derived from Bechtolsheim’s original SUN (Stanford University Network) computer project, the SUN workstation.
In 1984, McNealy took over the CEO role from Khosla, who would ultimately leave the company in 1985. On April 24, 2006, McNealy stepped down as CEO after serving in that position for 22 years, and turned the job over to Jonathan Schwartz. McNealy is one of the few CEOs of a major corporation to have had a tenure of over twenty years.
Unlike most people who become involved in high technology industries, Scott McNealy did not come from the world of amateur programmers, hackers, and computer scientists. Instead, his background was in business, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to college, he graduated from Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where his father was in the automotive industry as the Vice Chairman of the American Motors Corporation; most of his work experience prior to joining Sun was in automotive manufacturing.