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Monday, 20 November, 2000, 23:18 GMT
Oracle loses 'future chief'
Oracle press release
Shares in software giant Oracle slumped 14% on Monday after the company lost its second top executive - and a potential future chief - in six months.

Stock in Oracle, the world's second largest software firm, slipped to $24-3/4 - a little over half the price of highs reached in September - after the firm's executive vice president, Gary Bloom, was poached to head another firm in California's Silicon Valley.

Mr Bloom, who is leaving to head software firm Veritas, had been with Oracle for 14 years and was seen as a likely successor to chief executive officer Larry Ellison.

"Larry's the CEO today and Larry's going to be the CEO for a very long time ... I just didn't want to wait," Mr Bloom said on Monday.

Staff losses

The resignation follows the loss of Ray Lane, president, in June after Mr Ellison, who founded the company, took on a more active role.

Gary Bloom
Gary Bloom: stepping down after 14 years at Oracle

Mr Ellison on Monday hinted at Oracle's difficulties in retaining talented staff.

"Dozens of companies in the [Silicon] valley are now headed by Oracle alumni," he said in a statement on Monday.

He attributed the losses to the "strength of the training" received at Oracle.

Software partners

Mr Bloom's appointment at Veritas will strengthen co-operative working between the firms, Mr Ellison said.

"Gary is joining a key Oracle partner. With Gary at Veritas, we expect an already closer relationship to grow even closer."

Oracle was further hit on Monday when the stock was downgraded from 'buy' to 'hold' by investment bank UBS Warburg.

"Given all the potential challenges for Oracle, we recognise that the stock is still above its longer-term historical valuation metrics," UBS Warburg said.

Shares in Veritas, which rose $2-1/2 to $112-5/8 initially on the news, ended $2-7/8 lower at $107-1/4.

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See also:

14 Sep 00 | Business
Profits double at software giant
03 Jul 00 | Business
Oracle loses president
29 Jun 00 | Business
Oracle defends Microsoft spying
10 Feb 00 | Microsoft
Oracle: A brief history
10 Feb 00 | Microsoft
Larry Ellison: A profile
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