Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison stepped down Thursday as chief executive officer of the software maker he founded, making way for a new generation of executives and ending one of the most profitable runs for a leader in business history.
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, currently co-presidents of Oracle, were both named CEO to replace Ellison, the company said. Hurd will run sales, marketing and strategy, while Catz will remain chief financial officer and oversee legal and manufacturing operations.
Ellison, who owns 98 percent of Lanai, as well as Island Air, will become chairman, replacing Jeff Henley, and also take on the title of chief technology officer.
Ellison, who turned 70 last month, guided the Redwood City, Calif.-based company for more than 35 years to make it the world’s largest database-software company and one of the biggest providers of business programs. Oracle’s products have become the backbone of modern commerce and industry. The company has a market capitalization of more than $185 billion and produces annual revenue of $38 billion.
Ellison’s departure as CEO also signals a broader changing of the guard in the technology industry, as a generation of founder-CEOs who ushered in the personal-computer and business-software era leave their posts. Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977 and has run the company ever since, rose alongside Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Gates.