Lawrence Joseph (Larry) Ellison - The Man the Myth the Legend!
Those were the thoughts when I first heard the news that Larry is stepping down as the CEO of Oracle on Sep 18, 2014, in the middle of my work day. As I scanned the web to read more about the announcement, I was soemwhat relived to read that he will remain the Chairman of the Board as well act as the CTO to focus on Product Engineering. I thought that was interesting, shift of focus from management to product innovation. His successors are no surprises, at least not as much a surprise when Mark Hurd replaced Charles Phillips. Safra Catz has been around for ever in Oracle and Mark brings the experience of running a $100B+ company, HP, prior to his role at Oracle.
Interestingly, this news came just a few days before Oracle Openworld this year. Historically, a lot of announcements are made at Oracle Openworld, well I guess product announcements not people announcements! What I found interesting was that this announcement was part of the quarterly earnings announcements. Over his tenure, the ORCL stock has seen a significant dip after the dot.com crash and it took too long to recover, I think partly due to all the acquisitions like PeopleSoft, Siebel, Hyperion, BEA, Sun and so on. However, on the big picture, the stock is almost back to near top levels, before Larry's resignation or rather I should say shift of focus from management to Product Engineering.
Larry is still on the schedule for Oracle Openworld Keynotes (Sun and Tue). Will he make it, the big question! I have asked some of the folks who are part of the Oracle eco-system (either as ex-Oracle employees, current professionals via the partner network and so on) whether they like Oracle more or Larry more. I got interesting answers. I hope to carry that conversation at OOW with IOUG members and other stakeholders, while this topic is still fresh.