Oracle CEO Safra Katz says she has no intention of running Oracle on her own, ever, and that she doesn’t see co-founder, executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison leaving the company, ever, either.
Speaking at an information meet and greet with the press on Thursday, Katz was asked what it feels like to be co-CEO. Short answer: She loves it.
“As co-CEO, we have so much fun,” she told the room of a handful of reporters. “Whenever I’m away, I miss our crowd, Larry and Mark. I was so excited to see Mark one day, I gave him a big hug.”
“A lot of this path we are crossing through is a field in which no one has gone before,” she added. “Having a number of us in there to argue about it, think about it, sleep on it, discuss it some more. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do it by myself. why should I suffer alone? We drag each other [through].. not just Mark and me; it’s Larry, Mark and Me. We’re lucky. I like it.”
When asked if she’s ready to carry on as sole CEO if Larry Ellison ever left, she said, absolutely not.
“If Larry left — is it in one of his fancy cars? — I would be in the passenger seat. I’ve been on record on this. Unfortunately, if I want to get some rest, he’s more committed, more in, every day. There’s no near-term or even medium-term of him retiring. I personally think he’ll never retire. I suspect I will retire instead of him,” she said.
Ellison was formerly the longest running founder CEO in the tech industry until he surprised everyone by giving up to become CTO and executive chairman in September.
He promoted Catz and Hurd to become co-CEOs and the speculation has been, ever since, that it’s a job interview between the two of them to see who will become sole CEO. Ellison is fond of internal competition, internally known as “jump balls” in certain circumstances, Oracle employees have told us.