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Ellison Steps Down as Oracle CEO, Takes Chairman and CTO Roles

Larry Ellison, the co-founder and longtime CEO of Oracle Corp. and one of the most colorful and opinionated figures in tech, is stepping aside from day-to-day management at Oracle to focus on technology and strategy.

Ellison will vacate his position as CEO effective immediately, Oracle announced after U.S. financial markets closed on Thursday. The company's board has tapped two executives to take over the CEO responsibilities -- Mark Hurd, current co-president of Oracle, and Safra Catz, the other co-president and Oracle's CFO.

Ellison, who turned 70 last month, will remain at Oracle as its new CTO and executive chairman of the board of directors.

The executive reshuffling should have little effect on Oracle's reporting structure. "Safra and Mark will now report to the Oracle Board rather than to me," Ellison said in a prepared statement. "All the other reporting relationships will remain unchanged."

Catz will oversee all legal, finance and manufacturing matters. Hurd will manage all issues related to Oracle's global vertical industry businesses, as well as sales and service. Ellison will be responsible for all hardware and software engineering matters.

"The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future," Ellison said. "Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine."

Oracle gave no explanation for Ellison's role change in its announcement beyond a statement by Dr. Michael Boskin, presiding director of Oracle's board, who said that Ellison "made it very clear that he wants to keep working full time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy."

The executive changes were announced on the same day as Oracle's fiscal first-quarter financial reporting. The company reported $8.6 billion in total revenue for Q1, missing analyst expectations of $8.8 billion. Earnings per share at $0.62 were also a miss, with analysts expecting $0.64 per share.

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Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.