Oracle's Ellison Steps Back; CFO Henley Appointed ChairmanBy Matthew Hicks | Print
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Larry Ellison, who had held the title of Oracle chairman, will continue in his role as CEO.
Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp.'s flamboyant chairman and CEO, is relinquishing his role as chairman of the board.
The company's board of directors announced late Monday night that it is separating the responsibilities of chairman and CEO. Jeff Henley, who has been Oracle's chief financial officer for the past 13 years, has been elected as the new chairman.
Ellison will remain as Oracle's CEO.
Henley, who has been Oracle's CFO for 13 years, will serve as both chairman and CFO until a new CFO is found, Oracle said.
In a statement, the company's board of directors said the change will help management better serve customers and run the company.
"Jeff Henley is one of the most respected executives in the technology industry," Ellison said in the statement. "He's an expert on corporate governance and accounting. Jeff's knowledge and experience ideally qualify him to be our new Chairman."
At the same time executives Safra Catz and Chuck Phillips have been promoted to president positions, reporting directly to Ellison. Phillips has also been named to Oracle's board.
Catz and Phillips are the two executives most vocaland visiblein Oracle's ongoing siege to obtain rival PeopleSoft Inc.
Catz's role as head of global operations will change in title only; she will remain in the position she has held for the past five years. She has been a board member since 2001.
Phillips, on the other hand, will be in charge of field operations, a role that includes overseeing sales, marketing and consulting. This is a fast rise for Phillips, who was hired in May to essentially be the front man in Oracle's very public bid to acquire PeopleSoft.
"The Oracle Board of Directors believes these changes will enable the company's deep management talent to better serve customers, run the company with excellence and integrity and complement its good corporate governance," said Dr. Michael Boskin, chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee and of the Committee on Competence and Management Development of Oracle's Board, in a statement.
Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., lobbed its bid at PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., last Junejust days after PeopleSoft announced its intent to acquire J.D. Edwards & Co., a midmarket e-business software provider. That acquisition, completed in August, has placed PeopleSoft ahead of Oracle in terms of applications market share, behind SAP AG.
Earlier on Monday, it was revealed that PeopleSoft filed requests to interview Oracle executives for its ongoing court case to combat the hostile takeover by Oracle. Click here to read more about the ruling.