Oracle Corp. on Thursday confirmed that a key executive quit, a day after news hit that the California software company’s CEO Larry Ellison bought himself an island in Hawaii. The indicators of high governance risk at Oracle continue developing.
On Tuesday GMI had noted news reports that Keith Block, Oracle’s executive vice president of North America sales and consulting, left the company after the public release of his instant messages criticizing Oracle’s hardware business and its co-president Mark Hurd. Oracle had said it asked Joanne Olsen, its senior vice president for cloud computing services, to run its North American applications business, but didn’t clarify whether and how many of Block’s responsibilities she’d take on.
Oracle submitted a filing late on Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that said Block decided to leave and pursue other opportunities. On June 18 some of Block’s responsibilities were assumed by other members of Oracle’s management, but he’ll remain with the company for a period of time to assist with the transition, Oracle said.
Larry Ellison is in the midst of major transitions in his personal life. He bought the Hawaiian island of Lana’i from the real estate company Castle & Cooke, which had owned 98% of the 141 mile area. “It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lana’i,” Hawaii’s governor Governor Neil Abercrombie said in a press release Wednesday. He noted Ellison’s passion for nature and sailing.
Oracle’s stock is up by around 0.8% to trade at around $28.05 per share early Friday. The shares have risen in value by 1.15% in the past five days, compared to the Nasdaq’s 0.2% decline in the same time frame.
Investors who are bargain hunting in the shares must rely on Oracle’s earnings statements to make their valuations. They should take heed. GMI gives Oracle an F on its overall corporate governance, and the company’s financial statements reflect an AGR score of 13, indicating more accounting risk than 87% of comparable companies.