All eyes on Oracle's top leadership as OpenWorld kicks off this weekend

Immediately following bombshell leadership changes, roughly 60,000 Oracle OpenWorld attendees await to see how the new dynamic plays out starting this weekend.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO---As Oracle prepares to kickoff its annual expo this weekend, attendees, shareholders, and analysts alike are going to be keen on seeing how the tech giant's new leadership dynamic plays out.

For anyone (in business and enterprise IT) who has been under a rock, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based corporation stunned virtually everyone with the news last week that founder Larry Ellison would be stepping out of his CEO role he has held for decades.

He is being replaced by Oracle stalwarts CFO Safra Catz and president Mark Hurd, the pair of which will lead the Exadata maker as co-CEOs, effective immediately.

Ellison isn't going anywhere in the sense that he will still be chairman as well as chief technology officer.

But between the sudden bombshell about the internal switcheroo amid updates about Ellison's most recent Hawaiian island developments, the whole scenario has many people talking about what Oracle's future entails.

Despite what some immediate doomsday sayers might profess, that future isn't really bleak -- although first quarter earnings (seemingly swept under the rug amid the executive shuffle news) were shaky, to say the least.

It's unlikely that Oracle executives will comment divulge much about the leadership changes, even if Ellison is known for going off-book with his comments from time to time.

As of Thursday, Ellison was still scheduled to present the opening keynote this Sunday as usual, with Hurd picking up the baton the following morning. Ellison is also scheduled to deliver his keynote as company chairman on Tuesday.

So what we can expect, at least on a product front, is to learn more about Oracle's ongoing cloud agenda as well as routine updates to its cornerstone Exalogic and Exadata database lines.

Oracle's Marketing Cloud should garner at least some attention, especially following a recent integration with enterprise cloud wunderkind Box last week. Adobe and Salesforce.com have also been boasting about successes with their own cloud-based marketing products for months now, and Oracle is likely going to want to do the same.

Oracle has also been beefing up both its cloud and big data portfolios through a number of multi-million and billion-dollar deals this year, notably marketing data management provider BlueKai, hospitality and retail-based enterprise solutions firm Micros Systems for $5.3 billion, and most recently media storage company Front Porch Digital.

When the doors open this weekend, Oracle expects roughly 60,000 attendees to descend upon San Francisco's Moscone Center starting this Sunday. That's in addition to a projected 7.1 million additional watchers online, all in all covering representation from 145 countries.

Infographic via Oracle

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