Seventy-year-old Larry Ellison, the colorful and often controversial head of Oracle Corp., the company he founded, is stepping down as CEO.
But he’ll still be intricately involved with the software giant.
Reports hit the Web on Thursday afternoon that Ellison is departing, although he is taking over as board chairman. He remains the company’s biggest shareholder and one of the richest people in the world – to that latter point, he owns large homes on the West Coast and, in 2012, buy the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Ellison’s also a fan of yachting; he sponsored the team that won last year’s America’s Cup.
Now, Mark Hurd, who left HP four years ago amid an expense report and sexual harassment scandal, and Safra Catz, are taking over as CEOs. Both served as co-president but Oracle said they will not be co-CEOs; instead, Hurd will oversee sales, marketing and strategy, and Catz will stay on as CFO and the executive in charge of legal and manufacturing operations.
Meantime, Ellison will keep his involvement with Oracle as board chairman, replacing Jeff Henley; he’ll also assume the CTO title. The software and hardware engineering departments will report to Ellison.
“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,” Ellison said in a press release, referring to Hurd and Catz. “Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine.”
Ellison has drawn fire in recent years for his compensation, which shareholders have considered excessive, particularly as compared to their returns. He served as CEO since 1977, the year he founded Oracle. Shares of Oracle were down more than 1.7 percent in after-hours trading.