Global CIO: In Hurd's Wake, An Ugly Ending For Oracle's Charles Phillips - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Cloud Storage
Commentary
9/7/2010
08:49 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Faster, More Effective Response With Threat Intelligence & Orchestration Playboo
Aug 31, 2017
Finding ways to increase speed, accuracy, and efficiency when responding to threats should be the ...Read More>>

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:

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll