A Rusty Touch
?"> Toward that notion, Dorsey did express some concern that Ellisons hands-on touch could be quite rusty. Still, he said Oracle users are unlikely to be too affected by the executive management overhaul. "When you go out and buy a car, do you care whos running [General Motors]? This is simply a strategic direction," Dorsey remarked."This is the classic question of a technology companydo you let your leader be the charismatic founder whos best suited to choose your next major strategic change versus succumbing to the business operations and the financials of the company for short-term profits?" asked Lukasiak. It remains be seen, he said, whether Oracles new leadership structure, featuring Phillips and Catz as co-presidents under Ellison and Henley, can pinpoint the best long-term strategic directions for Oracles products. "If I were making a five- to 10-year investment in any new [Oracle] technology, I would want to see how this plays out a little first," noted Lukasiak. Vandivier said that many Oracle users will welcome Ellisons return to his familiar visionary role. "User groups, particularly people who follow Oracle, look to Larry Ellison the way Microsoft people look to Bill Gates because hes the guru and the visionary, and people like that," he said. (Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include additional comments from customers and industry analysts.)
Some users, such as Lucas Lukasiak, president of the Connecticut Oracle Users Group in Hartford, said that the downfall of many high-profile IT vendors has been to take away the power of a charismatic leader, such as Apple Computer Inc. and Steve Jobs.