7 Novmeber 2005 Database giant Oracle has lost its third chief financial officer in less than two years, after Gregory Maffei resigned after just four months in the job.
Such a succession of high profile departures would threaten to destabilise any large company – and potentially even more so at Oracle given its recent spate of large acquisitions.
Maffei joined Oracle in June 2005, having previously served as CEO at telecommunications provider 360Networks and CFO at Oracle’s arch-rival Microsoft.
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said in a statement that Maffei’s resignation was not a reflection of internal problems at the company, but because of an attractive offer to take a high ranking position in another company.
But some market watchers believe that Maffei’s resignation was prompted by a power struggle involving Oracle co-president Safra Catz.
Indeed Oracle has sought to calm investor fears over the departure by announcing that Catz will take over as CFO, and the early indications are that she will do so on a permanent basis.
Richard Sherland, an analyst at Goldman Saches, observed in a research note published before the resignation that Maffei had been conspicuously absent from official appointments. Oracle spokespeople separately attributed his absence to “scheduling conflicts” and “family issues.”
“We have grown increasingly convinced that there are legitimate questions regarding Mr. Maffei’s status at the company,” Sherland wrote.
In March 2005, Oracle’s previous chief financial officer Harry You resigned to become chief executive of IT consultancy BearingPoint after just 9 months in the position.