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Oracle president: Company perceived as annoying

Oracle president: Company perceived as annoying

The public's perception of Oracle, that the software vendor is a bit annoying, is disappointing to company President Safra Catz.

Speaking at the 2004 SIAA Enterprise Software Summit on Wednesday, Catz explained that Oracle sometimes says things others do not want to hear, such as talking about client-server computing being dead.

"Sometimes we're that annoying kid saying, 'The emperor is naked, this is not right,' " Catz said. "You get a public perception that you're kind of whacky or annoying."

Catz also expressed disappointment in how Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is perceived. "Most frustrating is the perception of our chief executive," she said, adding that perception and reality do not match. Ellison is often seen as brash and outspoken.

Although she is president, Catz noted that Ellison is still calling the shots at the company. "I actually view that my job is to promote our chief executive's vision and agenda for the company," Catz said. Catz became an Oracle president in January, along with Charles Phillips.

Oracle, she said, has thrived while others faded because of its willingness to take risks and change. The company even has canceled products in development for four years because of changes in the industry, Catz said, citing the switch from client-server to Internet computing as an example.

"We actually view it that not changing can actually be riskier or fatal," she said.

Oracle seeks to make managing systems easier so developers can focus on creativity, said Catz. "We want to take the mundane, error-prone labor out of the platform," such as in accounting applications, she said. The company also wants to enable executives to get data out of their systems, rather than just having data put into them.

Additionally, the company insists on first deploying products in-house before offering them for sale, Catz said.

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