Larry Ellison steps down as Oracle CEO, replaced by Mark Hurd and Safra Catz

Larry Ellison has made the decision to give up being CEO of Oracle, to be replaced by the presidents of the company who will share the task of steering the firm.

Mark Hurd (who was previously linked with the Microsoft CEO job, pre-Nadella) and Safra Catz are the two who will take over as chief executives, in what will obviously be a major change for Oracle. Ellison founded the company back in 1977 (though back then it was called Software Development Laboratories), and has been handling the reins for 37 years.

Catz will still be chief financial officer, and she will oversee the financial and legal fronts of the business, as well as manufacturing. Hurd will be responsible for sales and marketing, service and vertical industry global business units.

Ellison isn't stepping away from Oracle completely, though, as he will become chairman of the board – and software and hardware engineering will still report to him. He'll also take the role of chief technology officer.

Jeff Henley, who was chairman of the board and has been for a decade, has become vice chairman of the board.

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Ellison commented: "Safra and Mark will now report to the Oracle Board rather than to me. All the other reporting relationships will remain unchanged. The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future. Keeping this management team in place has always been a top priority of mine."

Presiding director of the board, Dr. Michael Boskin, noted that: "Larry has made it very clear that he wants to keep working full-time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy."

Boskin called Hurd and Catz "exceptional executives who have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to lead, manage and grow the company."