Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has taken a medical leave of absence for undisclosed health reasons, saying “though we all worked hard together to close the first quarter, I’ve decided that I need to spend time focused on my health”.
The news comes as Oracle reported flat Q1 earnings, but emphasised success in pivoting from its low margin hardware businesses to higher margin cloud business, with the outgoing CEO saying Oracle’s cloud ERP grew 33 percent in Q1.
That figure included both Fusion ERP and NetSuite ERP.
“Mark has requested a leave of absence from Oracle to address some health related issues and we all wish him a speedy recovery,” said Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison.
Co-CEO Safra Catz takes on the role, Ellison added: “Safra and I will cover Mark’s responsibilities during his absence with support from the rest of our strong management team.”
Oracle CEO: More Autonomous Databases Coming
Overall Oracle revenues were $9.2 billion, up two percent in constant currency year-on-year. Cloud services and license support accounted for nearly $6.8 billion of that sum.
At the company’s OpenWorld conference next week Oracle plans to roll out new “autonomous” cloud services, Ellison noted, adding to its existing autonomous database offering, unveiled with much fanfare last year. (This uses self-tuning to minimise stack management, with automated provisioning, patching, change management, etc.)
Among the recent additions to its portfolio is a “self-driving” autonomous NoSQL Database, that uses machine learning and automation capabilities to deliver a NoSQL database with 99.995 percent availability: it claims this can be delivered at up to 70 percent lower cost than rival Amazon’s DynamoDB.
Oracle CTO Ellison said: “The Autonomous Database is the most successful new product in Oracle’s history. We added more than 500 new Autonomous Database cloud customers in Q1, and we expect to more than double that in Q2.”
Hurd’s exit comes after a period at the helm during which Oracle has been hit (vociferously) by the rise of cloud competitors like AWS in the database arena and newer entrants like Coupa in the procure-to-pay enterprise software sector.