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Monday, 3 July, 2000, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
Oracle loses president
Oracle's flamboyant boss Larry Ellison dominates the company
Oracle's flamboyant boss Larry Ellison dominates the company
The president and chief operating officer of Oracle, Ray Lane, has resigned just days after the company admitting spying on Microsoft.

The company says the timing is "coincidental" after Oracle's chairman and chief executive Larry Ellison took full responsibility for the investigation, which he said was necessary to expose Microsoft's underhanded methods of funding public interest groups in its struggle with the government over anti-trust violations.

But the move is a significant blow to Oracle, the world's second largest software company.

Mr Lane, who joined Oracle eight years ago, was widely credited with masterminding the company's the rapid growth by expanding its business beyond database technology into company software and consultancy.

He worked quietly in the shadow of Mr Ellison, the flamboyant chairman who is now challenging Bill Gates for the title of the world's richest man.

During the past four years when Mr Lane was chief operating officer, Oracle's share price has risen more than 4,500%, while its revenues grew between 1997 and 1999 from $5.7bn (3.7bn) to $8.8bn.

Mr Ellison, who will take over Mr Lane's responsibilities, said:

"I am grateful to Ray for all his efforts. He will be missed."

Mr Lane, who will remain on the Oracle board, is expected to be sought after by other technology companies.

There is speculation that he might join Hewlett Packard. Mr Lane is a friend of its former chief executive, Lew Platt.

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See also:

29 Jun 00 | Business
Oracle defends Microsoft spying
12 Oct 99 | The Company File
Oracle calls for Microsoft break-up
10 Feb 00 | Microsoft
Oracle: A brief history
10 Feb 00 | Microsoft
Larry Ellison: A profile
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