'One-man show' Oracle is failing itself

Says ex-Oracle chief...

Says ex-Oracle chief...

On a rare visit to the UK, ex-Oracle chief Ray Lane took the opportunity to launch another attack on Larry Ellison. Lane warned that the management drain at Oracle, which most recently saw Jeremy Burton leave to become chief marketing officer of Veritas, could seriously hurt the company. Lane told silicon.com that Oracle has become "highly dependent" on Ellison and his style of leadership. Ellison is renowned in the industry for possessing a king-sized ego and maintaining a vice-like grip on all aspects of the running of the company. Lane, one time COO at Oracle, left the company in the summer of 2000 after expressing concern that he was being left out of important decision-making processes. But now Ellison has lost more senior management figures, Lane argues the company lacks the necessary level of experience. He claims managers have been promoted too quickly and compares their inexperience with that of certain dot-com CEOs who found themselves leading a company without the experience to do so successfully. Ellison now finds himself pretty much running Oracle single-handedly. However, Lane told silicon.com he believes Ellison is doing a good job. "It is the kind of company that can run like that. But what happens when Larry goes off to do the America's Cup? That's when the politics start - how do you grow a company like that?" Lane is currently involved in a number of ventures including sitting on the board of Asera. The company makes applications that generate a single window into numerous applications or components of applications. This means users can view the information they need, such as parts of ERP systems or databases, without having to dip into those specific applications. Asera was founded by high-profile technology VC Vinod Khosla and during the boom was considered to be one of the hottest technology properties around.