Oracle confirms sales chief has "resigned"

Oracle has said executive vice-president Keith Block has left the company, only a few months after he criticised the company's president in a critical instant messaging exchange became public during ongoing litigation.

Oracle executive vice-president Keith Block has resigned, the company said today, confirming earlier reports he would depart after nearly three decades.

The company's shares dipped following the swirling rumours that Block would leave. Oracle said he will leave to "pursue other opportunities."

His sales unit accounts for around half of all Oracle's business, according to the latest figures from the company.

Despite his resignation, effective  June 18, Block will help with the transition process in the database giant during the coming weeks and months.  Some of his responsibilities were handed to other Oracle senior staff.

Having said that, it remains unclear exactly how he left: whether he walked away under his own steam or was pushed out by senior management. ZDNet's Andrew Nusca has more on this.

The sales executive made headlines following critical remarks to Oracle president Mark Hurd and its Sun Microsystems division in an internal instant messaging exchange that became public.

"Nobody talks about Sun. Even the Sun customers. It's dead dead dead," Block said in 2011.

He also likened Sun's hardware as a "pig in lipstick at best" following the disclosure of instant message communications during Oracle and HP's litigation warm-up match.

Oracle surprisingly reported better than expected fourth-quarter earnings early on Monday afternoon, bumping the announcement by a few days.

Image credit: Oracle.

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