(hat tip to TechCrunchIT for the story)

Recently Sun Microsystems announced the layoff of 1,000 employees (with the potential layoff of 2500) at their main headquarters, Menlo Park Campus, and employees in Colorado. According to TechCrunchIT’s post, Sun will be laying off 60-70% of Sun’s sales and marketing departments.

60-70% cut from their marketing departments? As a professional in the marketing arena it is hard for me to believe that a company would actually cut a department that drives revenue into the company. Cut marketing and sales for the betterment of the company? Does it make any sense? According to Sun CEO Johnathan Swartz, it makes a lot of sense.

I have always related the Sun name to their open source offerings (MySql and ZFS). The company boasts a 70,000 a day download rate from the technology they have leverage in the open source community.

From TechCruchIT:

Schwartz pointed out that even though there were users of Sun products in those areas, it was accomplished without requiring Sun sales or Sun marketing in those countries or cities.

Are we seeing a paradigm shift in the world of traditional marketing and sales for technology and Internet companies? Will companies like Sun Microsystems continue to cut departments that have always been known as the revenue drivers of the bottom line? Will budgets be focused more toward technology development and customer service rather than marketing and sales?

Is this concept suicidal for Sun Microsystems and their other product offerings? OR Is a paradigm shift about to happen?