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Ellison shoots his mouth off at HP again

by Scott Bicheno on 4 October 2010, 09:59

Tags: Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)

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Speechless, almost

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, sniping is the most transparent. As the enterprise IT sector evolves, with former specialists aspiring to become generalists, the major players increasingly find themselves encroaching on each other's space.

Oracle has got where it is today by providing enterprise software, while HP is principally a hardware-maker. But acquisitions such as Sun by Oracle and EDS, Palm and 3PAR by HP show how their worlds are increasingly colliding.

But the growing tension between Oracle and HP is best illustrated by recent changes at the top. HP got rid of its CEO, who was swiftly snapped-up by Oracle to be one of CEO Larry Ellison's co-presidents. Then HP went to SAP - historically Oracle's biggest competitor - to get Hurd's replacement. Surely there can be no clearer statement of the desire these two companies have to get in each other's faces.

Well it turns out there is - gobbing-off to the media. Having previously slagged-off the HP board for getting rid of Mark Hurd in an email to the NYT, Ellison ensured the WSJ didn't feel left out by offering his latest broadside to it.

Showing either a keen sense of irony or an utter lack of self-awareness - you decide which - Ellison wrote: "I'm speechless," before going on to rave at the HP board. "HP had several good internal candidates...but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP," spoke Ellison.

"None of the HP board members own much HP stock so they have little to lose. But the HP employees, customers, partners and shareholders will suffer. The HP board needs to resign en masse ... right away. The madness must stop."

HP's response to the WSJ was quite amusing; a spokesperson said Ellison's comments don't deserve the dignity of a response. Meanwhile ZDNet made a good point. Oracle is generally tight-lipped in response to queries about itself, in the author's experience, so it's a bit galling to see the CEO himself being so quick to hold-forth about his competitors.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Scott B
Showing either a keen sense of irony or an utter lack of self-awareness - you decide which - Ellison wrote: “I'm speechless,” before going on to rave at the HP board.

Inigo Montoya
You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means…

Nuff sed :mrgreen:
Ellison = comedy gold :D
Showing either a keen sense of irony or an utter lack of self-awareness - you decide which - Ellison wrote: “I'm speechless,” before going on to rave at the HP board. “HP had several good internal candidates…but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP,” spoke Ellison.
Hmm, that's an “interesting” way of looking at it - according to much of the information out there LA left SAP because his contract wasn't renewed "by mutual consent". As to the bad job of running SAP - again, it seems to be accepted (except in the Oracle Death Star) that he did an okay job of running SAP, and he's certainly a top-class sales person. Check out http://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/12079/news-analysis-saps-ceo-leo-apotheker-resigns/ for one such appraisal of LA.
On the other hand look at the kind of person that Larry E regards as a good CEO - namely the ex-HP incumbent. He was despised/hated by much of the work force (same as at his previous postings), got investigated for sexual harassment (unproven) and then was asked to leave "by mutual consent“ because of ”irregularities“ in expenses and ”failure to uphold the standards of conduct expected". :surprised:
“None of the HP board members own much HP stock so they have little to lose. But the HP employees, customers, partners and shareholders will suffer. The HP board needs to resign en masse … right away. The madness must stop.”
'The madness must stop'? Hmm, why do the words “pot”; “kettle” and “black” spring to mind? ;)
Yep, LE was such a friend to MH that he promptly stabbed him in the back over Solaris on Intel. Then you've got the shocking way Oracle treated OpenSolaris, itself following on from the frankly-inexplicable way they dealt with the “free” Solaris licensing that Sun introduced. I could go on, Simon Phipps, suing Google, etc.
Yep, Crazy Larry strikes again …

If you ask me who'd I'd rather work for, then I'm going to reply “anyone but Larry Ellison!” :P
Why is Larry “the crazy” Ellison talking smack about HP?

They are competitors in some areas right? so why would Ellison care if they did a bad job? Or does he just want the attention?
Funkstar
Why is Larry “the crazy” Ellison talking smack about HP?

They are competitors in some areas right? so why would Ellison care if they did a bad job? Or does he just want the attention?
Yes, HP and Oracle are head to head over servers (Intel-based and otherwise) plus storage. I don't think there's much overlap in the software line. Couldn't agree more with that second sentence - surely if your “major competitor” is screwing up then that's good news for you. Or am I missing something here…? :shocked2:

As to the timing - some cynical folks have suggested that this is a poor attempt to point fingers elsewhere. After all, Oracle's had a lot of bad press in the past few months about what they're doing to, sorry “with” ( ;) ), the stuff they got in from Sun - Java, MySQL, Solaris, VirtualBox, etc. So here's “Crazy Larry” in effect going "see, we're not so bad - they screw up way worse than we do“.

The quotes around ”major competitor“ is because I don't really agree with the statement ”HP appoints the former CEO of Oracle’s biggest competitor.". AFAIK it's IBM that's the biggest competitor to both Oracle and HP. As I've said, HP are up against Oracle in servers and storage, but IBM adds quite a few items of software into the mix - especially DB2, which goes up against Oracle's core product - their database software.

Disclaimer: I work for one of the companies mentioned, so apologies for any unintended bias - but don't yell at me, I'm just a humble techie.