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Larry Ellison Steps Down as Oracle CEO

Larry Ellison
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Larry Ellison has stepped down as CEO of Oracle, the information-technology giant he co-founded in 1977, to become executive chairman and chief technology officer, the company said Thursday.

Oracle’s board of directors promoted both Safra Catz, formerly president and CFO, and Mark Hurd, formerly president, to the position of CEO. Jeff Henley, who has served as Oracle’s chairman for the last 10 years, was appointed vice chairman of Oracle’s board.

Ellison, 70, has a net worth estimated at $51.3 billion, making him the fifth-wealthiest individual on the planet, according to Forbes. Ellison has acquired about two dozen properties in Malibu and also owns of 98% of Hawaii’s Lanai Island. He’s a licensed pilot and an avid fan of sailboat racing, having sponsored several teams competing in the America’s Cup yacht race.

The tech titan’s two offspring are notable figures in Hollywood. Megan Ellison heads Annapurna Pictures, which she founded in 2011 as a production-financing company. Her biggest successes have come with “Zero Dark Thirty,” “American Hustle” and “Her”; she’s also backing awards-season contender “Foxcatcher.”

David Ellison heads Skydance Productions, which has a co-financing and co-production deal at Paramount. David Ellison founded Skydance in 2010 and raised $350 million to co-finance and co-produce movies with Paramount. He launched Skydance Television last year, hiring Marcy Ross as its head. Under the Paramount deal, Skydance has backed “True Grit,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “World War Z.”

Regarding the changes at Oracle, Larry Ellison said that he, together with Catz and Hurd, “have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future. Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine.”

All manufacturing, finance and legal functions will continue to report to Catz. All sales, service and vertical industry global business units will continue to report to Hurd. All software and hardware engineering functions will continue to report to Ellison, the company said.

“Larry has made it very clear that he wants to keep working full time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy,” said Michael Boskin, presiding director of the Oracle board, in a statement.