Oracle announced that Mark Hurd, the company’s co-CEO and leader of its sales, marketing, and support units, is taking a medical leave of absence for unspecified reasons. Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison and co-CEO Safra Catz will handle Hurd’s duties during his absence, the company said.
The news, which Oracle revealed along with a fiscal first-quarter earnings announcement that was originally scheduled for tomorrow, raises questions about the company’s leadership succession plans as it continues to struggle to gain share in the cloud computing market.
Oracle missed Wall Street’s sales forecasts but reported a profit that was in line with expectations. Oracle shares dropped nearly 5% after the announcements.
In an interview with The Information last December, Hurd said Oracle’s applications for running corporate finances and other back-office functions were growing quickly, but downplayed the threat Amazon Web Services posed to its database business.
Oracle will hold its annual customer conference in San Francisco next week.