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Oracle President Thomas Kurian Resigns

Oracle President Thomas Kurian resigned today from the software and technology giant, according to an SEC filing. He allegedly disagreed with Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s cloud strategy for the company, according to a report.

Oracle's Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison

Thomas Kurian

According to the filing:

“[Kurian] informed Oracle Corporation (“Oracle”) that effective immediately he was resigning as President, Product Development to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Kurian’s duties and responsibilities have been reassigned to other senior executives in Oracle’s development organization.”

Kurian was a member of Oracle’s executive committee for 13 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was front-and-center during multiple technology and business shifts — essentially leading the company’s current cloud strategy. He also led 60 software acquisitions at the company,  56 of which beat Oracle’s board projections over a three-year period, his LinkedIn profile says.

Leave of Absence Becomes Permanent

Kurian took a leave of absence earlier this month ahead of Oracle’s Q1 financial results announcement on September 17, 2018. At the time, the company did not say why the executive had stepped away from the business. However, a Bloomberg report suggested that Kurian wanted to more aggressively promote Oracle applications and platforms on third-party clouds like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Ellison disagreed with the recommendation, the report asserted.

Those third-party clouds compete with Oracle’s own infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which has been a market laggard in terms of revenues. The company raised eyebrows earlier this year when it stopped reporting specific revenue figures for IaaS/PaaS and SaaS — instead lumping them together.

Mark Hurd

Amid the controversy, Oracle’s SaaS business has been a bright spot, with CEO Mark Hurd predicting multiple times that the company will rank among the Top 2 SaaS business application providers as the market consolidates over the next few years.

Still, the SaaS momentum hasn’t been enough to overcome the perceived IaaS weakness. In its most recent quarter, Oracle’s cloud services and license support revenue was $6.6 billion, roughly $80 million below consensus estimates, SeekingAlpha says.

Yes, Oracle’s cloud revenues are growing — but not as quickly as Wall Street would like. The company trails AWS, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba and IBM in terms of global cloud market share, according to Synergy Research Group.

Next Up: Oracle OpenWorld

Kurian’s departure comes a few weeks before the annual Oracle OpenWorld 2018 conference in San Francisco. The company typically rolls out its latest cloud and technology initiatives at the conference.

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