When music stops for Oracle CEO dance, Catz may grab Ellison's chair : analysts

Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:24pm EDT
 
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By Jeffrey Dastin and Sam Adams

NEW YORK (Reuters) - If Larry Ellison sailed off on his yacht for good tomorrow, who would really run Oracle Corp (ORCL.N: Quote)?

Reuters asked a cast of Wall Streets analysts, and the verdict is dealmaker and finance guru Safra Catz.

The question is on investors' minds after Ellison, 70, promoted both Catz and sales leader Mark Hurd to the CEO position on Thursday, while taking on the role of executive chairman and chief technology officer himself.

The move appears to be the first stage of Ellison's gradual withdrawal. But what if Ellison disappeared immediately?

Of 12 analysts who replied to an anonymous poll, five said Catz would likely run Oracle, while only one voted for Hurd, 57. Four said both would continue to run the company, one said neither, and one plumped for dark-horse internal candidate Thomas Kurian.

Oracle did not respond to a request for comment.

Votes in favor of Catz, the 52-year old former Wall Street banker who orchestrated Oracle's multibillion dollar acquisitions and has been Ellison's de facto deputy for the last few years, stressed her 15 years of experience at the company.

Hurd, who only joined Oracle in 2010 after leaving Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N: Quote) under the cloud of a business ethics breach, has a larger public presence but is still seen as a newcomer.   Continued...

 
Oracle Corp Chief Executive Larry Ellison introduces the Oracle Database In-Memory during a launch event at the company's headquarters in Redwood Shores, California June 10, 2014.   REUTERS/Noah Berger