After managing the company for the last 37 years, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison announce that he was stepping down from the position of chief operating officer earlier today. In his place, co-presidents Mark Hurd and Safra Catz will work jointly to manage the company by splitting the duties of the CEO position. Hurd will manage Oracle’s overall marketing strategy as well as sales while Catz will continue working as the chief financial officer in addition to managing manufacturing and legal issues that arise. Rather than develop consumer products, Oracle primarily offers software for businesses, specifically commerce-related solutions.
In addition, Oracle representatives announced that Ellison will be taking on the role of chief technology officer at the company as well as executive chairman of Oracle’s board of directors. Speaking about the shift, 70-year-old Ellison said “Safra and Mark will now report to the Oracle Board rather than to me. All the other reporting relationships will remain unchanged. 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. Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine.”
Potentially, this change could trigger a faster shift in Oracle’s product design. Up to this point, Oracle has sold software under a licensing fee to business users that have already purchased hardware. With Microsoft and other companies shifting focus to the cloud for enterprise users, it’s likely that Oracle will pivot the company’s business model more quickly to adapt to the continually evolving cloud technology trend.
According to Forbes, Ellison is currently ranked as the fifth richest person in the world with a projected net worth of over $50 billion. When he’s off taking a break from being the company’s new CTO, he spends time in one of several mansions as well as the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Ellison purchased a 98 percent ownership stake in the island during 2012. The purchase price was rumored to be around $300 million dollars and Ellison is currently in the process of investing several hundred million in the island property to build up the infrastructure.