The management of Oracle is messing around. Disagreement between Executive Chairman Larry Ellison and Head of Product Development Thomas Kurian would be the reason for the extended leave of the latter. The top executives do not agree on the cloud strategy that the company should follow.

Last week it was announced that Thomas Kurian, head of product development at Oracle, is on indefinite leave. No reason was given, but according to Bloomberg the decision is the result of a disagreement with co-founder Larry Ellison. The publication cites anonymous sources that are familiar with the case.

In his role, Kurian is in charge of, among other things, the expansion of Oracles’ cloud efforts. He wants the company to make more of its software available to the public cloud environments of competitors such as Amazon and Microsoft. By diversifying its own infrastructure, Oracle can in theory reach a wider audience. However, Ellison does not agree with this strategy.

Kurian has been with Oracle for 22 years and reports directly to Ellison. The top executive climbed through the ranks of the world’s second largest software supplier by creating products that accelerated the company’s growth. Kurian leads 35,000 engineers worldwide and is responsible for products that generate $35 billion of Oracles’ annual revenue.

Difficult cloud

So far, however, cloud infrastructure has been a hard nut to crack. Oracle has not yet received much traction in this market and is losing out to AWS and Azure. During Kurian’s absence, the infrastructure department will report directly to Ellison, indicating that Oracle may not expect a rapid return, regardless of what was initially claimed.

Oracle has recently invested in new data centers and made a number of acquisitions to support its cloud strategy, but investors remain concerned about the meagre growth in cloud revenue. By making its software available on the clouds of competitors, Oracle also reaches customers who are already fully invested in these environments.

However, Ellison is not impressed by the cloud offerings of Amazon, for example, and has already publicly criticised the service in the past. Increasing the compatibility of Oracles software with AWS and Azure – a limited number of apps and databases are already compatible – would only validate these competing cloud services and undermine the argument that the proprietary Oracle cloud is the best home for its software.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.