Safra Catz will "run" Oracle as the new chief executive, while still reporting to its founder, Larry Ellison.
"We have no plans for having a second CEO, it was an unusual situation," Ellison said of the co-CEO system. "Mark and Safra were a fantastic team, but we have complete confidence in our existing team."
In 2014 Larry Ellison stepped down as CEO, handing the reins over to Mark Hurd and Catz, who became co-CEOs under Ellison, who stayed on as executive chairman and CTO.
Falling gravely ill, Hurd went on sick leave months before his death in October. At the time, Ellison said that he liked the co-CEO structure and that he had promised to give the board the names of five internal candidates for the job.
Qualified for the job
Catz started off as an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and left to join Oracle just before its acquisition by Credit Suisse Group AG in 1999. She eventually became a member of the company's Board of Directors in 2001 and later the president of Oracle in early 2004.
According to Bloomberg, she was most recently considered for the post of U.S. Trade Representative or Director of National Intelligence by members of the Trump Administration.
Trump + Catz
Catz had proven herself to be a fairly savvy lobbyist for Oracle. Back in 2016, then president-elect, Donald Trump held a meeting with several CEOs in Silicon Valley, including Tim Cook, and Bezos; Catz also joined the lineup and was one of the first to offer Oracle’s services to the president.
She said before the meeting: “I plan to tell the president-elect that we are with him and will help in any way we can. If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation and negotiate better trade deals, the US technology industry will be stronger and more competitive than ever.”
Unfortunately for Catz, this position resulted in a high-profile resignation: George Polisner had worked at Oracle since 1993 but posted his resignation on LinkedIn as a result of the company's close relationship with Trump.
He said: “I’ve made significant contributions to Oracle along the way in my various roles ranging from consulting, product development, customer advocacy, program management and now in the cloud.
"I am not with President-elect Trump and I am not here to help him in any way. In fact, when his policies border on the unconstitutional, the criminal, and the morally unjust, I am here to oppose him in every possible and legal way.”
Catz got claws
Over the past year, Oracle has been caught up in the controversy surrounding the $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract and its alleged links to Amazon.
Catz invested heavily in establishing Oracle's presence in D.C., according to Bloomberg, but usually kept a lower profile than Hurd, except when it came to political affairs, for example openly criticizing the JEDI bidding process at a private dinner with Trump.
Although the complaints were at first ignored by the President, the company and IBM then approached the Government Accountability Office claiming foul play - successive investigations dismissed the charges. However, the efforts caught the attention of Trump, who called for a review of the contract.
Oracle's lobbying troupe made diagrams linking JEDI to Trump's personal rivals, Jeff Bezos, and Barack Obama - "someone" even laid a copy of the document on Trump's desk.
Previously, AWS was believed to be the frontrunner for JEDI, but after delays and challenges, Microsoft ended up ultimately winning the award.