Saturday, June 25, 2005

Oracle hires former Microsoft CFO

A few days after SAP boasted that it lured several of its key development and marketing executives, Oracle has announced that it has hired Gregory Maffei, current CEO at telecom provider 360networks Corp., to fill its CFO spot. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 45 year old Maffei is "known for his aggressive deal making" when he was CFO at Microsoft from 1997 to 2000.

Maffei will also assume the position of co-President, which he will share with Charles Phillips and Safra Catz. Catz has been serving as temporary CFO since the departure from Oracle of Harry You, who left after only eight months on the job to take the top spot at BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting).

The hiring of Maffei is prompting speculation that Oracle is about to kick it up a notch with its acquisition program.

Putting Maffei into the three-way co-President role is also prompting speculation that one of the three may be a short-timer. Interestingly, back in April Charles Phillips wasn't very vigorous in stating his intention to stick around at Oracle. According to CNET,
When asked in April about his thoughts on working with CEO Larry Ellison as a No. 2 and whether Oracle was a good place for him to stick around, Phillips noted that Oracle has produced several notable chief executives in Silicon Valley.

"He's produced several CEOs in the Valley--Tom Siebel, Craig Conway, Ray Lane. Some pretty famous people have worked at Oracle as No. 2s," Phillips said during a quick interview at an Oracle customer event. "He's had some good No. 2s that have worked out for both him and for other companies."
The San Jose Mercury News has more.

Update, Jun. 28. So, which of the three co-President's might become Larry Ellison's successor? Forbes has the best quote:
Says Jeff Christian of Jeff Christian and Co., [an] executive placement firm that has placed Oracle executives at other companies, "I don't see any of these people being CEO of Oracle unless Larry dies and the stock goes to $3."
Related posts
SAP luring top talent from Oracle and Siebel
Oracle loses You

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