CEO Ellison Sets New Course as Oracle Gains Control of Sun

Larry Ellison is setting a new course for Oracle Corp. (ORCL) that includes hiring 2,000 sales and engineering employees and developing a line of high-end computer systems.

The moves, which the Oracle chief executive disclosed in an interview Tuesday, come as the company prepares to close its long-delayed acquisition of computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA). On Tuesday Sun delisted itself from the Nasdaq Stock Market, a sign that the takeover was nearly complete, though no formal announcement was made.

With the acquisition, Mr. Ellison, who built his fortune selling computer software and shunning hardware, says Oracle’s mission will change significantly. He said he plans to transform Oracle into a company that is as serious about server systems–the big back-office computers used for processing corporate data–as it is about business software.

Mr. Ellison said his planned 2,000 new hires will outnumber the cuts Oracle is making in Sun’s head count, which stood at 27,596 as of Sept. 30. Oracle, which had 83,366 employees at the end of November, was widely expected to slash Sun’s work force.

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