Global CIO: In Hurd's Wake, An Ugly Ending For Oracle's Charles Phillips - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud // Cloud Storage
Commentary
9/7/2010
08:49 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

Global CIO: In Hurd's Wake, An Ugly Ending For Oracle's Charles Phillips

Larry Ellison's farewell rationale for Phillips' awkward departure just doesn't add up. And I think Mark Hurd better watch his back.

Larry Ellison says long-time and now former Oracle president Charles Phillips told Ellison 10 months ago that he wanted to leave the company. Ellison further says he asked Phillips to stay through the Sun acquisition, and Phillips agreed.

In that context, Phillips got what he wanted while also helping Oracle manage through one of its most transformative acquisitions, and doing so in a manner consistent with his 7 years (or "29 quarters," as he put it in his brief farewell statement) at the company.

I'd like to believe that. But it smacks of too many coincidences. And in matters of this sort, I don't believe in coincidence. Like most people, I do believe in facts—and here are a few to consider:

FACT: Early this year, Oracle's other president, Safra Catz, indicated in public comments that the Sun integration was zipping along, aided by the 9 months of limbo Oracle endured while the European Union dragged out its approval of the Oracle-Sun merger.

By Oracle's own statements, the heavy-lifting portion of the Sun integration was completed months ago. So why didn't Phillips—who asked to leave in December 2009, according to Ellison—take off sooner?

FACT: Just seven weeks ago, Phillips endured a stunningly public rebuke from Oracle over his comments, made at an industry event, relating to an M&A war chest he said Oracle had assembled for the next five years.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

Not only was the company's clarification of Phillips' remarks condescending and starkly personal, but it was attributed to the head of Oracle PR, who at the time reported up through Phillips in the organization. I believe the remarks came from Ellison himself, and that he was so miffed that Phillips either (a) was just plain wrong on a very sensitive matter, or (b) made an accurate statement but wasn't supposed to talk about it publicly, that Ellison wouldn't even deign to connect his name to the public tongue-lashing of Phillips.

Here's part of the comment, which is unlike any I've seen regarding a sitting executive from his employer:

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Industries with Job Openings Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/27/2020
Commentary
How 5G Rollout May Benefit Businesses More than Consumers
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/21/2020
News
IT Leadership in Education: Getting Online School Right
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/20/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll