Greg Maffeis departure earlier this month as Oracle Corp.s chief financial officer and co-president has led to much speculation as to why the ex-Microsoft Corp. official would leave after only four months on the job.
Maffei resigned to take the CEO job at Liberty Media Corp.
Industry analysts have suggested two scenarios that might prompt a CFO to leave such a prestigious post: personality conflicts among executives or something amiss in the companys finances.
Jeff Walker, a former CFO at Oracle, said the Redwood Shores, Calif., companys fiscal conservatism ensures there is nothing wrong with the books at the worlds second-largest software developer.
Rather, Oracle hired a guy who couldnt keep pace, Walker said.
"Oracle is a very fast-moving company, and they introduce change quickly," said Walker, now the chairman and chief technology officer of TenFold Corp., in South Jordan, Utah.
"They expect their executives to do the same. You hire an ex-Microsoft guy, and I dont think Microsoft ever moved that quickly."
During his tenure at Oracle—as CFO and as head of the applications division—Walker said he worked long hours six to seven days a week, with constant travel and constant change.
Maffeis rationale for leaving Oracle was a "terrific professional opportunity."
Oracle has settled any future CFO issues by appointing Safra Catz—who shares the co-president role with Charles Phillips—to the permanent role of CFO.