Oracle Loses Another Key Executive

Database giant Oracle Corp. announced Friday that Executive Vice President Gary Bloom is leaving the company to become chief executive officer at Veritas Software Corp. Bloom's departure follows the surprise resignation in July of Ray Lane, the company's president and chief operating officer, and is sure to raise renewed concerns about the stability of Oracle's senior management team. An employee at the company for 14 years, Bloom was one of Oracle's highest-ranking executives and had been tipped by some analysts as a possible successor to Lane.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, Oracle said that Bloom will remain with Oracle until Dec. 15 to oversee the transition of his duties, which will be divided among a team of several Oracle executives. Bloom oversees the development of Oracle's database, application server and data warehousing software, and has been largely responsible for executing the company's Internet and e-business vision. He also leads the company's worldwide marketing efforts and its Oracle Venture Fund.

"He is a first rate executive, and Gary is ready to be a CEO," Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison said in the statement. "During his fourteen year career at Oracle he did a wonderful job for us, and I am certain that he will do a wonderful job for them."

Ellison added in the statement, "I look forward to working with Gary in his role as CEO of one of Oracle's most important partners, and one of the Valley's most innovative companies."

"Oracle has great depth of management," said Jeff Henley, chief financial officer at Oracle. "Dozens of companies in the Valley are now headed by Oracle alumni. There is no better proof of the quality of our people, or the strength of the training they get at Oracle."

Veritas makes software for managing storage systems. Mark Leslie [cq], who has been chairman and CEO of Veritas since 1990, will continue to serve as chairman and maintain a full-time, active role in the business, Veritas said in a separate statement.

Bloom's departure was announced after the U.S. stock markets closed this afternoon. At the end of regular trading, Oracle's shares closed up 5.25 percent, at US$28.81. In after hours trading the stock had dipped almost 10 percent at the time of this writing, to $24.69.

Oracle, in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at +1-650-506-7000 or via the Internet at http://www.oracle.com/. Veritas, in Mountain View, California, can be contacted at +1-650-335-8000 or at http://www.veritas.com/.

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