Oracle CEO Mark Hurd went on medical leave last month, prompting speculation that Safra Catz, with whom he shared the post, would likely become the tech giant’s sole CEO.
“A lot of people have said, ‘God, you guys are weird. Two CEOs? That’s ridiculous. That’s bad governance,'” Ellison told analysts at the company’s OpenWorld event in San Francisco last month.
“I believe in a dual-CEO structure. The normal case [at Oracle] would be dual CEO here for obvious reasons. That it’s good to have capacity and good to have specialization. And then, God forbid, if something untoward should happen, you have capacity; you are not incapacitated.”
In fact, Oracle’s archrival, SAP, appeared to be following Ellison’s lead. SAP just announced it was shifting to its own dual-CEO structure. The German software giant said Bill McDermott, its longtime CEO, was stepping down and has been replaced by Jennifer Morgan, who had led SAP’s cloud business, and Christian Klein, who had served as SAP’s chief operating officer.
It would seem Ellison meant what he said about the dual-CEO structure. At the meeting with analysts, Ellison said he was planning to give the Oracle board five internal candidates in the event Hurd is unable to return.
Here are five Oracle executives – two that Ellison himself mentioned at the meeting with analysts, as well as three that experts suggest might make the shortlist – who could one day serve as the company’s chief executive.