Safra Catz Confirmed As Oracle CEO After Mark Hurd Death

Larry Ellison has confirmed that Safra Catz will remain as the sole CEO of Oracle following the death of her co-CEO Mark Hurd in October this year.

The announcement was made as the software giant reported its second quarter results, which saw the company make a 1 percent fall in profits, coupled with a 1 percent rise in revenues.

“We have no plans for having a second CEO, it was an unusual situation,” Oracle co-founder and chairman Ellison was quoted as saying by Computing. “Mark and Safra were a fantastic team, but we have complete confidence in our existing team.”

Hurd death

The confirmation comes after ex-HP boss Mark Hurd announced he would take a leave of absence from Oracle in order to address medical issues that were not disclosed.

“Though we all worked hard together to close the first quarter, I’ve decided that I need to spend time focused on my health,” Hurd wrote to Oracle staff in September. “At my request, the Board of Directors has granted me a medical leave of absence.”

Hurd then went to say he loved Oracle and wished it all success during his absence.

Mark Hurd was co-CEO of Oracle, along with fellow CEO Safra Catz.

The two ran the firm for five years, after Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 to serve as Executive Chairman of the Board, and as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Although Hurd’s illness was not disclosed, it has reported that it was cancer, and it turned out to be serious as just five weeks after stepping down, Mark Hurd died on 18 October 2019, aged just 62 years old.

The announcement was made by Larry Ellison on the personal website of Mark Hurd.

“It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that I tell everyone here at Oracle that Mark Hurd passed away early this morning,” wrote Ellison. “Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”

“All of us will miss Mark’s keen mind and rare ability to analyse, simplify and solve problems quickly. Some of us will miss his friendship and mentorship,” he added. “I will miss his kindness and sense of humour.”

Hurd was survived by his wife Paula and two daughters.

Former HP boss

Hurd is a well known figure with tech circles. From 2005 to 2010 he was CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.

But Hurd joined Oracle in 2010 at personal low point of his life, when Ellison hired him a month after he had been forced to resign as CEO of HP amid allegations of sexual harassment.

No charges were ever levelled at Hurd, but HP’s board of directors said he had violated the company’s business practices by filing misleading expense reports.

During his five years at HP, Hurd had been credited with stabilising the company’s financial numbers, but drew criticism from some corners for relying too much on cost-cutting as a way of hitting those goals.

Ellison quickly hired Hurd as Oracle president and Larry sharply criticised the HP board of directors, saying the decision to get rid of Hurd was as bad as the decision by the Apple board in the mid-1980s to fire founder Steve Jobs.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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