Mark Hurd, who has been at the helm of software giant Oracle for the past half-decade, has died at 62 years old. It’s no doubt a blow to the company, where Hurd has shared the CEO spot with Safra Catz since Oracle founder Larry Ellison backed away from the role in 2014.
Like much of traditional tech, Oracle, which has a four-decade history, has been struggling to gain market share in its cloud business, where companies such as Amazon and Google have taken the lead. Now one executive who is reportedly on Ellison’s shortlist to take the co-CEO spot is Don Johnson, executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure product development. It goes to show the importance and competitive nature of the cloud market, one that Oracle isn’t alone in trying to navigate.
Investors did not abandon the stock Friday, with ORCL shares down only fractionally in the trading session. The stock did suffer sharper declines about a month ago, however, when Hurd took a leave of absence from Oracle for health reasons, so the bad news could already be baked into the stock.
Source: Yahoo Finance
Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) isn’t the first company to suddenly lose its CEO, nor is it the first corporation that has tried a dual-CEO structure though it is one of the few businesses that have had success with it.
Coca-Cola Lost Its CEO in the Nineties
Sadly, former Coca-Cola chief executive Roberto Críspulo Goizueta Cantera, a Cuban immigrant, died suddenly in 1997. He was reportedly the key to the company’s $59 billion of market value added (MVA) under his leadership, CNN Money reported two years before his death. Coca-Cola’s market value ballooned from $4 billion to $150 billion while he was CEO.