It seems that Larry Ellison -- the only CEO in Oracle's history -- would like to devote more of his time to the creative side of things now that he's a septuagenarian.
He's giving up the chief executive title, and it will take two execs to replace him.
Oracle said today that its directors appointed him to the position of chief technology officer as well as executive chairman of the board. The company's software and hardware engineering functions will continue to report to Ellison, who founded the business software behemoth in 1977.
The board named two new CEOs for the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company: CEO Safra Catz, 52, will oversee all the manufacturing, finance and legal functions while CEO Mark Hurd, 57, will take on the sales, service and vertical industry business units. They'll both report to the board instead of Ellison.
"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, the board's presiding director. "Safra and Mark are exceptional executives who have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to lead, manage and grow the company."
That said, the move suggests a path for succession as Ellison, who has been iconic as CEO, moves into the final stage of his career.
No Other Changes
Other than changing the reporting lines for Catz and Hurd, Ellison said all other executive relationships will remain the same.
"The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future," said Ellison. "Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine."
Shares of Oracle, which has a market value of about $182 billion, fell 2 percent in aftermarket trading.