- Oracle is not in the process of hiring a second CEO to work alongside Safra Catz, chairman Larry Ellison said on Thursday.
- Questions have lingered over the post since Mark Hurd stepped away as co-CEO earlier this year for a medical leave. Hurd passed away in October.
- Ellison has also previously said that he had given the board five names of internal candidates, and that the company liked the co-CEO structure.
- But observers also said that Oracle need not be in a hurry to hire another chief executive, if Catz was content to do the job alone.
At this point, Oracle’s long-time top executive Safra Catz will remain the sole CEO for the foreseeable future — with no plans to fill the role of co-CEO left vacated by the late Mark Hurd.
That’s what founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison said to Wall Street analysts when asked about the executive search on the company’s quarterly conference call.
“We have no plans for having a second CEO,” he said. “We have confidence in our existing management team.”
Ellison did say that Oracle looks to “strengthen the management team,” though “one of the strategies for strengthening from that team is not to hire a second CEO.” But he said Oracle is looking to expand its executive bench.
“We’re doing a lot of recruiting,” he said. “You’ll see a lot of announcements at the next layer down that we’re hiring a bunch of people the next layer down, who are potential CEOs when both Safra and I retire which is not anytime soon.”
Oracle co-CEO Hurd died earlier this quarter. Shortly before he passed away, Oracle announced that he was ill and taking a leave of absence.
At the time Hurd took that leave, Ellison said that he Oracle liked the co-CEO structure and that he had promised to give the board the names of five internal candidates for the job.
While Catz had, back in 2015, said she had no interest in being sole CEO, she has long been Ellison’s right-hand executive, and industry observers believed the job could be hers if she agreed to it.
Time will tell if she keeps the post full time for long. Catz has also previously said that she plans to retire when Ellison retires.
Oracle shares slipped more than 2% in late trades after the company reported weaker than expected sales. Oracle reported a fiscal second quarter profit of $2.3 billion, or 69 cents a share, compared to $2.3 billion, or 61 cents a share, for the year ago quarter. Revenue climbed to $9.61 billion from $9.57 billion. Adjusted income was 90 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 88 cents a share on revenue of $9.65 billion.