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End of an era: Larry Ellison steps down as Oracle CEO

Ellison co-founded the company in 1977 and has served as CEO for nearly four decades

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 18, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3938

Today was a historic day for enterprise software company Oracle, as the company has now seen its long-time chief executive officer Larry Ellison step down from his position.

The move was announced on Thursday, after the company released its Q1 2015 earnings report. 

Ellison was one of the founders of Oracle back in 1977, and has been its CEO for the past 37 years. He will not be leaving the company, though; instead he will be transitioning to another executive role, that of Chief Technology Officer. 

In Ellison's place, the Oracle board has appointed two new CEOs: Safra Catz and Mark Hurd who will be splitting the duties. Going forward, all manufacturing, finance, and legal functions will continue to report to Catz, while all sales, service and vertical industry global business units will report to Hurd. All software and hardware engineering functions will report to Ellison.

In addition to those moves, Jeff Henley, who has served as Oracle's Chairman for the last 10 years, was appointed as Oracle's Vice Chairman of the Board.

No clear reason was given for Ellison's move, but it could simply be a matter of age; he has been in charge of the company for nearly 40 years, and he is now 70 years ago. If he wants a less demanding position at the company, he has definitely earned it.

Also, don't forget that Ellison is a billionaire; in fact he was the highest paid CEO in tech last year, making $78.4 million, down from the $96.2 million he made in 2012. (For good measure, Ellison donated $72.2 million to the Lawrence Ellison Foundation, making him the 26th most philanthropic person in 2013).

"Larry has made it very clear that he wants to keep working full time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy," Dr. Michael Boskin, the Presiding Director of Oracle's board of directors, said in a statement. "Safra and Mark are exceptional executives who have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to lead, manage and grow the company. The Directors are thrilled that the best senior executive team in the industry will continue to move the company forward into a bright future."

In regards to Catz and Hurd, their appointment allows Ellison to keep the company running, essentially, the same way it has for all these years.

"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," he said. 

This news came out the same day as Oracle's latest earnings report, in which it saw revenue of $8.06 billion, on $0.62 earnings per share. The company missed on both counts, as analysts had expected $8.77 billion in revenue, on $0.64 EPS.

As a result, Oracle's stock dropped 2.29% in after hours trading on Thursday, erasing the 1% gain it had seen during the day.

(Image source: go.bloomberg.com)


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