In September 2010, Oracle Corporation announced that president
Charles Phillips had stepped down from his position and from the
Oracle board of directors. This move generated a flurry of
media interest related to the supposition that a personal scandal
had been the motivating factor for Phillips' departure.
Further speculation was focused on the resignation being associated
with Phillips' public statements regarding an alleged five year
$70 billion acquisition plan. Oracle quickly denied the
existence of such a five year mergers and acquisitions plan.
In a press release from Oracle Corporation, CEO Larry Ellison was
quick to dismiss these notions by stating,
"When Charles approached me last December and expressed his desire
to transition out of the company, I asked him to stay on through the
Sun integration which has gone well. We will miss his talent and
leadership, but I respect his decision."
Concurrent with the announcement of
Phillips' departure, Oracle announced the addition of
Mark V. Hurd as new President and member of the board of directors.
Hurd, former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (HP),
resigned from his position at the technology powerhouse in August
under pressure from the HP board regarding an undisclosed personal
relationship with a co-worker that resulted in a harassment
allegation and associated irregularities with expense statements.
Ellison candidly condemned HP's short-sightedness via a letter
sent to the New York Times saying, "The HP board just made the worst
personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve
Jobs many years ago." Ellison continued on to say, "In losing
Mark Hurd, the HP board failed to act in the best interest of HP’s
employees, shareholders, customers and partners."
Oracle Corporation would not overlook the attributes that Hurd
brought to the table. Their press release on his addition to
the Oracle team included the following statements of support from
Ellison: "Mark did a brilliant job at HP and I expect he’ll do even
better at Oracle. There is no executive in the IT world with more
relevant experience than Mark. Oracle’s future is engineering
complete and integrated hardware and software systems for the
enterprise. Mark pioneered the integration of hardware with software
when Teradata was a part of NCR."
While at HP, Hurd was credited with breathing new life into the technology giant by
cutting costs and pursuing ambitious acquisitions. During his
tenure, HP pushed past Dell, one of their strongest competitors, in the personal computer market.
In his role as co-president at Oracle
Corporation, Hurd will undoubtedly be working with Ellison to
continue Oracle's strong forward momentum in the IT industry.
Since 2005, Ellison has purchased more than 65 companies, including
the previously referenced acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. last
With Hurd's experience, the software titan should now be
well-armed for its move into integrated hardware solutions that work
with its already powerful software products in order to provide
complete technology solutions to its customers. According to
Hurd himself, "I believe Oracle's strategy of combining software
with hardware will enable Oracle to beat IBM in both enterprise
servers and storage." It is clear that Oracle has just begun
its battle for ultimate supremacy in the areas of software,
applications, middleware and hardware.
Hurd is serving as co-president with Ms.
Safra Catz, who is reported to primarily handle financial and legal
matters. Hurd's responsibilities are in sales, marketing and
customer support. Both Hurd and Catz report directly to
Ellison. This is a formidable team at the helm of an industry
leader with share growth for 2010 reported as 28 percent in December
2010. Bloomberg reported the same month that the company's
growth appeared to top the analysts' forecasts, indicating that
expansion into hardware is benefiting the company.
It will be very interesting to see where
this team will take Oracle Corporation in the next fiscal year and
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