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Finance Chief at Oracle Resigns

After a short tenure, Greg Maffei leaves the post -- seen as an especially difficult one -- for another job.

November 04, 2005|From Reuters

Oracle Corp. Chief Financial Officer Greg Maffei resigned Thursday after a short tenure marked by an uneasy relationship with top executives at the business software maker.

Oracle said co-President Safra Catz would take over from Maffei, who leaves the company Nov. 15 for a position with another company. His departure makes Catz the company's fourth chief financial officer in two years.

Maffei was hired June 24 to replace Harry You, who left Oracle after nine months to become chief executive at BearingPoint Inc. Before that Jeff Henley served in the job for 13 years and Catz acted as finance chief for a quarter before You was hired.

Pat Walravens, an analyst at JMP Securities, said Maffei's short tenure showed the chief financial officer job at Oracle was a difficult one requiring a person to manage personalities such as outspoken Chief Executive Larry Ellison.

"It is a weak CFO role," Walravens said. "They hire people with the ability to be the CEO of another public software or services company. They find that limited CFO role frustrating."

Earlier Thursday, a Wall Street analyst raised questions about Maffei's future at Oracle after the former Microsoft chief financial officer missed a recent meeting with analysts in New York and canceled another scheduled for next week.

Maffei, one of Oracle's three co-presidents, was named CFO in June in a move seen as boosting Oracle's strategy of leading consolidation in the business software market. Maffei played a leading role in Microsoft's mergers group.

At Oracle he was involved with but did not lead any of the company's recent takeovers.

In the last two years, Oracle has spent about $19 billion buying up rivals, but investors remain far from sold on the company's strategy to drive consolidation in the industry.

Ellison has vowed to lead consolidation in what he contends is a maturing industry that requires a smaller number of players as customers rein in new business software spending.

Oracle shares fell 28 cents to $12.20 in regular trading and was little changed after hours.

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