In a 2006 profile aptly titled “Irreplaceable?” former FORBES writer Victoria Barret pointed out the tight control Ellison, now 70, holds over his company. “He tweaks Oracle’s print ads; he fiddles with its press releases; he peppers techies with arcane questions,” explains the piece. “Isn’t it about time he identified a successor? Bill Gates, 11 years younger, managed to do that.”
Eight years later Ellison has decided the time has come — kind of.
Ellison, who with $51.3 billion is the world’s fifth richest person, made it clear he plans to stay involved. “Safra and Mark will now report to the Oracle Board rather than to me,” said Ellison in a statement. “All the other reporting relationships will remain unchanged. The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future. Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine.”
Catz has been with Oracle since 1999. She joined the board of directors in 2001, became president in 2004 and took over as chief financial officer in 2011. Hurd joined Oracle as president in 2010 and served as CEO of Hewlett Packard previously.
Oracle stock turned red following the after hours announcement, shares were down about 2.5% to $40.50. Prior to the announcement Oracle shares were up 8.6% year-to-date.
Moments after the changing of the guard Oracle also reported earnings. The company reported $8.6 billion in first quarter revenue, up 3% from the same period last year. Net income came in at $2.8 billion, up 2% on a non-GAAP basis. At 62 cents non-GAAP earnings per share were 2 cents behind Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimate. Both Catz and Hurd were quoted as CEO in the earnings report, and all three executives had a speaking role.
Forrester Analyst John Rymer wrote of the move, “Oracle’s results have been disappointing for many quarters now – but shuffling the leadership deck doesn’t really change anything. Perhaps Ellison will focus more on the products that get Oracle through the key cloud transition, but this work must compete with his other substantial interests.”
source: forbes.com by Samantha Sharf