John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Oracle CEO a Bit Smugger Than Usual Today

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Well, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison must be chuckling into his corn flakes this morning …

In January 2005, Oracle President Charles Phillips boasted that his company soon would be “seeing the whites of” SAP’s eyes. Well, it’s taken a bit longer than expected, but today it seems Oracle is doing just that.

Responding to a lawsuit filed by Oracle in March, SAP admitted today that employees in its TomorrowNow division inappropriately downloaded proprietary, copyrighted software products and other confidential materials from Oracle’s Web site. “Even a single inappropriate download is unacceptable from my perspective,” SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said in a statement. “We regret very much that this occurred. I want to reassure our investors, customers, partners and employees that SAP takes any departure from the high standards we set for all of our businesses very seriously, regardless of where it occurred or how confined it may be. When I learned what happened, I promptly took action to strengthen operational oversight at TomorrowNow while assuring that we maintain excellent service for TomorrowNow’s customers going forward.”

The tone of Kagermann’s comments today is a far cry from the defiant one he took during SAP’s last earnings call. “We have no intention to settle; why should we?” he said at the time. “We don’t think anything is wrong in our company. We have a long legacy at the company, with an unparalleled reputation as a trusted adviser and a trusted partner.”

Amazing how quickly a Justice Department investigation can change your perspective on an issue like this. Because today it appears that Kagermann would like nothing more than to settle this matter quickly and out of court. “I personally was surprised and disappointed that Oracle had not chosen to talk directly to me as soon as they felt something was wrong,” Kagermann said during a conference call. “We are strong competitors, but we are also parties within the industry, which has an established working practice of addressing matters of concern first between the companies rather than going directly to the court.”


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