Ellison: No More Layoffs

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-06-06

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. - Oracle Corp. Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison on Wednesday said the company is not planning additional layoffs, despite a Wall Street analyst report predicting reductions.

The announcement was made at a conference here to formally announce a partnership with Red Hat Inc. and Dell Computer Corp. in which Oracle 9i database Real Application Cluster technology would run on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server on Dell PowerEdge servers. During the presentation Ellison responded to analysts who have speculated that the software maker is struggling to meet expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter which ended last week.

When asked if any layoffs were planned beyond the 200 developers let go last Friday, Ellison said flatly, "No." He then scoffed at the characterization of the consolidation of staff in its applications development group as a layoff, saying, "200 out of 40-some thousand are not layoffs."

On Monday, Lehman Brothers Analyst Neil Herman in a research note wrote that several sources were saying that Oracle "is likely to undertake significant employee reductions within the next several weeks." The note didnt specify numbers because of a lack of corroboration from sources on the numbers.

Stock market analysts also have been predicting that Oracle wouldnt meet earnings expectations of 12 cents a share for its fourth quarter. Ellison countered that the company has met expectations.

"Were in our quiet period but I can say this. Had we not done at least 12 cents earnings in operating income, we would have had to pre-announce, we would have had to warn, and we didnt warn," Ellison said.

Ellison lashed out at stock market analysts for their speculation of bad earnings, comparing their pessimism in todays slow economy to their exuberant recommendations during the boom.

"Theyre now being wildly irresponsible on the way down," Ellison said.

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