Breakingviews

Larry Ellison cedes driver seat with hand on wheel

September 19, 2014

The Oracle founder is stepping down as CEO, but his 25 pct stake in the software giant – and dual role as chairman and chief technology officer – ensure he’s far from relinquishing control. Splitting his old job between two executives could, however, lead to a bumpy transition.

Oracle deal provides partly cloudy forecast

June 23, 2014

In a way the $5.3 bln deal for Micros is a relief for shareholders. Even if it’s the start of an M&A binge, it’s not at a crazy valuation. Then again, longtime partner Micros is more an add-on than a way to supercharge Oracle’s effort in the cloud. That challenge remains for now.

HP would make lucrative Oracle target

October 3, 2011

Investors unimpressed by Hewlett-Packard's dysfunctional governance have sold off its shares, leaving the tech company vulnerable to a bid. And Larry Ellison's acquisitive Oracle is a credible potential suitor. At least financially, a deal would stack up. A Breakingviews analysis suggests that even paying a 40 percent premium, Oracle could reap a hefty return.

Oracle needs to read Cisco cautionary tale

December 5, 2011

Empires built on acquisitions can run into problems as they sprawl. That’s doubly so in tech, where obsolescence is a risk. Oracle has used database profits to buy new businesses. So far, so good - but Cisco’s record suggests success will be hard to sustain.

Oracle’s rare stumble triggers double concern

December 21, 2011

The software giant lost some $20 bln in market value after a subpar earnings report. The sell-off could be overdone: Larry Ellison’s firm may soon regain ground, as its bosses expect. But the rare miss could signal both a weak environment and a hiccup in Oracle’s own trajectory.

Oracle suit gives Google a chance not to be evil

May 15, 2012

The search giant has been thumped on privacy, antitrust and governance grounds. But it looks almost virtuous in a patent spat with troll-like Oracle. Investors and watchdogs may still have beefs, but for now Google can milk its role as defender of software’s right to be free.

HP’s Autonomess should devour Marc Andreessen, too

November 20, 2012

The Silicon Valley visionary behind Netscape goaded Leo Apotheker, the CEO he recruited to HP, to bet big on Autonomy as part of his “software eating the world” thesis. Andreessen was also integral to the value-destructive Palm deal. HP’s board would be better off without him.

SAP could lose more than $1.3B on Oracle verdict

November 24, 2010

The damage done by a verdict that SAP violated Oracle's copyright may be larger than can be measured by dollar and cents.

Walter Hewlett could give HP its Steve Jobs moment

September 8, 2010

Oracle boss Larry Ellison may have given Hewlett-Packard some brilliant advice. Before snatching Mark Hurd to help run his software company this week, Ellison compared the board's decision to part ways with the HP CEO as "the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs."

Oracle shows off art of war by hiring Mark Hurd

September 7, 2010

Larry Ellison has launched another phase of his long-standing battle with Silicon Valley. A Sun Tzu admirer, the Oracle boss roundly mocked the board of rival Hewlett-Packard when it forced out Chief Executive Mark Hurd last month. By hiring Hurd, Ellison backed up his words. He not only gains a well-regarded operations guru, he follows the Chinese general's sixth-century BC dictum "Know your enemy."