Larry Ellison juggles America's Cup and Oracle customer expo

Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:38pm EDT
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By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The 34th America's Cup underway on San Francisco Bay is going on longer than Oracle Team USA backer Larry Ellison expected and is now overlapping with his software company's massive annual customer conference.

America's Cup sailing is a major passion for Ellison, rivaled only by his focus on expanding what is already the world's third largest software maker.

The next match-ups for Ellison's team in the America's Cup, which could easily be the final ones in the regatta, are set for Tuesday at roughly the same time he is scheduled to give a major keynote at Oracle OpenWorld, which kicked off on Sunday at San Francisco's main convention center.

Oracle Team USA won its fifth straight race on Monday, denying Emirates Team New Zealand the final victory it needs in order to claim the Cup, which organizers originally thought would be settled by last Saturday at the latest.

With over 60,000 people registered, this year's OpenWorld conference is a major opportunity for the Ellison to pitch Oracle's strategy on cloud computing and other technology designed for companies and governments.

Ellison's main keynote is always a focal point of the event, an opportunity he often uses to attack rival companies and colorfully criticize their products to the delight of attendees.

A spokeswoman declined to say whether Oracle will reschedule Ellison's Tuesday speech.

On Sunday, hours before opening Oracle OpenWorld with a speech in which he debuted new high-end data center technology, Ellison was out on the Bay as his team beat Emirates Team New Zealand in two races.   Continued...

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison watches Oracle Team USA compete against Emirates Team New Zealand during Race 16 of the 34th America's Cup yacht sailing race in San Francisco, California September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith