Larry Ellison steps down as Oracle CEO

Mark Hurd and Safra Catz will share CEO duties

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison has quit the role of chief executive of Oracle after 35 years in the job.

Mark Hurd and Safra Catz will now become co-CEOs, with Ellison taking on the roles of executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle.

Hurd and Catz are currently co-presidents at Oracle. As co-chief executives, Catz will run legal and manufacturing operations and stay as chief finance officer while Hurd looks after marketing and strategy.

Despite advancing age (he has just turned 70) and his billions in the bank, Ellison will remain a full-time employee.

"Larry has made it very clear that he wants to keep working full-time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy," said Oracle board president Michael Boskin.

"Safra and Mark are exceptional executives who have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to lead, manage and grow the company. The directors are thrilled that the best senior executive team in the industry will continue to move the company forward into a bright future."

Ellison, who is ranked fifth wealthiest man in the world with a fortune estimated to be $51.4 billion, said the change now meant that Hurd and Catz report to the board rather than to him.

"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," said Ellison.

Ellison co-founded Oracle and has been its chief since 1977. He remains Oracle's largest shareholder with 1.1 billion shares, or 25 per cent of the company. The firm is noted for its habit of acquiring companies such as PeopleSoft, Siebel, BEA and Sun Microsystems, to name a few.

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