The frenzy over Charles Phillips claim that Oracle will spend $70 billion the next five years on acquisitions is but the latest in a media driven Oracle BS campaign to proclaim dominance of the IT universe. Except it comes with an ugly twist.
In a 'clarification' Karen Tillman, Larry Ellison's PR henchperson said:
"Oracle does not have a five year acquisition budget. We don't even have a one year acquisition budget. While it is highly unlikely that we will spend anything approaching $70 billion in five years, we will be opportunistic and, if market conditions warrant, we will buy additional companies that further our strategic goals and address our customers' needs," said Oracle spokesperson Karen Tillman.
In an email, I asked:
Was that released on the say so of Larry [Ellison]?
So far no response. But then I don't expect one.
Charles Phillips, ex Morgan Stanley analyst and one time darling of the quarterly earnings call had predicted that enterprise applications would be consolidated. Larry Ellison handed him a $25 billion plus cheque for all practical purposes with which to fulfill his prophecy. It was a master stroke.
In recent times the rumor mill had it that Charles would leave Oracle to take on the top slot at CA. That was until some rather unfortunate advertising turned up on Times Square. Read into that what you will. What I read into Karen's hatchet job is that this is the closest thing I've ever seen to a PR driven pink slip.
On a personal note I admire the way Charles has done an outstanding job in acquiring and consolidating so many lame ducks including Siebel and PeopleSoft. What I don't admire is the non value passed back to customers by way of insisting that customers continue to pay for products that are, by 21st century standards, outdated and losing competitive advantage.
Perhaps Charles knows the time to go has come and has merely precipitated that departure through his ambitious claims. Only time will tell.