oracle

Second is usually not good enough for Larry Ellison, but Oracle is still celebrating a runner-up spot today. 

Richard Waters

Wednesday will be a big day in the life of Lawrence J Ellison, co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle, multi-billionaire, defending champion of the America’s Cup and head of Oracle Team USA.

It will also present an interesting test of where his true allegiances lie. As the boat he bankrolled with tens of millions of dollars faces defeat, will he choose to front Oracle’s quarterly earnings call or be out on San Francisco bay? 

Richard Waters

You have to hand it to Oracle, it never misses a chance to humiliate its rivals in public.

On Wednesday it was the turn of Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy. His provocation? To have publicly denied that he tried to “shop” his company to Oracle before eventually selling to Hewlett-Packard. (This has now turned into a “he said, she said” – see updates, below) 

Joseph Menn

In the latest salvo in a continuing battle between former allies, Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday filed suit against Oracle over the latter’s announced refusal in March to keep making new versions of its database software for HP servers based on the Itanium chip. But it is hard to know whether the case has much hope. 

Joseph Menn

An unscientific survey of employees at major US technology companies found that only 50 per cent of Yahoo workers approved of chief executive Carol Bartz’ leadership during the past year, down from 77 per cent as she got started. 

Chris Nuttall

File this one under “Oracle takes another dig at HP” or “Oracle kicks Intel when it’s already down”. In a statement overnight, the database company said it had decided to stop all software development for the Intel Itanium microprocessor, where HP is one of the few server makers still supporting the chip. 

In today’s FT Comment, John Gapper gives his opinion on Larry Ellison’s recent “policing” of Silicon Valley.

Gapper writes: 

Richard Waters

Pulses quickened in a Federal courtroom in Oakland, California on Tuesday when a lawyer for Oracle promised jurors in the Oracle v SAP trial that they would get to hear evidence from Léo Apotheker, now the boss of HP.

So does that mean Mr Apotheker has accepted the challenge thrown down last week by Larry Ellison, his counterpart at Oracle, to turn up and face the music? It sounded as though Mr Ellison’s taunt, about how the HP CEO might choose to stay “far, far away” from the courtroom, had paid off.

Alas, it turns out that a showdown is still not guaranteed. 

Richard Waters

Is SAP about to take the same sort of battering in the press from Oracle that has made HP’s board quail recently? Not if it can help it.

Late on Friday, SAP asked a Californian court to put a gag order on Oracle’s legal counsel ahead of the scheduled November 1 start of the trial to decide damages in the TomorrowNow case. But even if it can silence Oracle’s lawyers, SAP probably has a bigger problem on its hands: Larry Ellison, who shows no inclination to hold back in public. 

Richard Waters

Five months after its acquisition by Oracle, the axe continues to fall on employees at Sun Microsystems.

This is what CEO Larry Ellison had to say in January:

The truth is we’re actually hiring 2,000 people over the next few months to beef up these businesses, and that’s about twice as many people as we’ll be laying off.

Late on Friday, though, Oracle said it would add massively to the $325m of restructuring costs it had projected from the Sun integration. There will be an additional $675-825m of charges, with around 80 per cent of that apparently earmarked for employee severance costs.