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Califorina and the West

Oakland A's executive to join board of NetSuite

January 04, 2007|From the Associated Press

Renowned for building one of baseball's most successful teams on a shoestring budget, Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane will test his business acumen by joining the board of NetSuite Inc., a rising Silicon Valley company backed by computer software mogul Larry Ellison.

Beane will remain the Oakland A's general manager, a job that has attracted more attention since he was lionized in a 2003 book called "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game."

The Beane appointment represents a public relations coup for NetSuite, an Internet-based maker of business management software that is preparing for an initial public stock offering this year.

Ellison dipped into the $22-billion fortune that he amassed as co-founder of Oracle Corp. to bankroll San Mateo-based NetSuite in 1998.

Beane said he was drawn to NetSuite because of the Ellison connection, as well as the company's unorthodox approach of selling online subscriptions to software instead of distributing the complex programs on discs that must to be installed on computer hard drives.

"I like to diversify myself," Beane said Wednesday.

With 2006 revenue of about $70 million, NetSuite remains relatively small. But its upcoming IPO has piqued investors' interest because of Ellison's mystique and the returns generated by one of the company's biggest rivals, Inc.

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