But is this a club he really wants to belong to?
Probably not, because as a member of the $1 per year CEO club, Ellison will be taking a pay cut of $999,999 in Oracle’s fiscal 2010, which began June 1. The fourth richest man in the world received a $1 million salary in fiscal 2009; however, this only accounted for 1.2 % of his total compensation, according to an article in CNET.
So, with 97% of Ellison’s income coming from stock, this may be more of a symbolic gesture. But is it also a sign of how the recession is affecting Oracle?
According to the Wall Street Journal‘s take on Ellison’s pay cut, yes. The WSJ points out that Oracle CEO Jeff Epstein is the only one of the company’s executives to finish fiscal 2009 “above the money,” having a paper value above his issue price.
Ellison is in good company, however. Who else has been or is a part of the $1 salary CEO club? Here are some notable executives:
Steve Jobs: The Apple CEO, who owns 5.5 million shares of Apple stock, has been bringing home a $1 salary since 1997. But Jobs’ salary seems to have had little effect over his wealth in the past decade, as he’s made millions in stocks and accepted large gifts from company executives, such as a $90 million Gulfstream V jet in 2000.
Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt: The top three Google executives have been receiving $1 salaries since 2004. Schmidt also received no salary or stock for his recent service on Apple’s board of directors, though he did accept $8,700 of Apple gear and a $7,500 “commemorative gift,” according to Business Week.
John Mackey: The CEO and Co-founder of Whole Foods wrote a letter to his employees in November 2006, announcing that his salary would be reduced to a $1, he would no longer receive any other cash compensation, and Whole Foods would donate future stock options he would be eligible for to two company foundations. In his letter, Mackey also wrote:
“I am now 53 years old, and I have reached a place in my life where I no longer want to work for money, but simply for the joy of the work itself and to better answer the call to service that I feel so clearly in my own heart.”
If we hear a similar sentiment expressed by Larry about how he is in it now only for the joy of creating great database software, we’ll be sure to create a whole special report around that news.]]>
It’s been four months since Oracle announced its planned acquisition of Sun, and today the Department of Justice gave Oracle the green light to move forward with its takeover. But the past four months have been filled with numerous questions and concerns –many of which are still applicable — about the deal among both Oracle and Sun users.
Here’s a quick look back at some of our significant Oracle-Sun coverage of the past four months:
Now that the deal is one step closer to completion, what can Oracle and Sun customers do to prepare? Some Sun customers are worried that big changes are on the way, but others are even more worried about another issue – Oracle’s silence about the deal and what to expect, especially with Sun’s flagship SPARC hardware business and how it plans to license Sun’s servers — by the box or by the number of processors.
What is your company doing to prepare for the Sun acquisition? How is it going to affect you? Do you feel like you have the information you need, or do you think Oracle should be doing a better job of keeping you informed?]]>
What was encouraging about the announcement was first, the commitment to using open source technologies, and second using it in a way that allows IT shops and ISVs to address a couple of fundamental challenges and to do so inexpensively.
The VM Templates are essentially virtual machines that contain pre-installed and pre-configured enterprise-class software. IT shops can use them to create, package up and deploy applications significantly faster. The VM Template Builder takes advantage of the Oracle Enterprise Linux “Just enough OS” (JeOS)-based scripts.
Given IT shops growing interest in cloud computing and other SaaS strategies, being able to simply and quickly launch virtual applications figures to have a lot of appeal to Oracle shops.
“We are picking up a lot of interest from our users about cloud computing, with a particular interest in deploying private clouds. They are trying to figure out what it means for them,” said Monica Kumar, Oracle‘s senior director of Linux and open source product marketing. “Virtualization is one of the enabling technologies for cloud computing and a lot of other things. We are looking at virtualization from solutions perspective such as deploying a CRM stack virtually,” she said.
Besides the VM Template Builder Oracle also announced the VM template for its Siebel CRM product, which allows users to set up a complete Siebel environment quickly, as well as a test kit for testing a stack of applications before it gets deployed as part of the Oracle Validated Configurations Program.
The VM Template Builder, the test kit, and Siebel template are free, but users must have a license for Siebel CRM.
“If a user has a private cloud infrastructure, with these templates they can bring up applications and solutions much faster. And not just that, with the Template Builder they can build these templates themselves,” Kumar said.
Offering an example Kumar said if an IT shop had a financial application, it could use the VM Builder product to create a virtual machine image of the software that could then be downloaded by customers for deployment. Otherwise, customers would have to deploy applications themselves from scratch.
“The template has a GUI and the underlying technology is Linux and so together they basically give ISVs the ability to create a software-in-a-box environment,” Kumar said.
Kumar, of course, would not comment on how the new templates might work and play with Sun’s xVM Server hypervisor or Solaris virtual containers or even the technologies it has picked up from its acquisition of Virtual Iron.
Hopefully, it will apply most of these newly acquitted open source technologies as practically as it has its own VM templates.
Has the trend continued this year?
It looks that way. Once again, Oracle CRM made the leader’s quadrant of the 2009 Magic Quadrant for SFA, but Oracle’s Siebel CRM and Oracle CRM on Demand were the CRM products that were recognized.
Gartner describes leaders of SFA as demonstrating a “market-defining vision of how technology can help the top sales executives achieve business objectives.” According to Oracle’s press release, Gartner places vendors in a particular market segment by their “completeness of vision and their ability to execute on that vision.”
So how does Oracle Siebel CRM and CRM on Demand fit in?
Oracle Siebel CRM helps organizations get maximum top-and bottom-line growth with a mix of transactional, analytical and engagement features, according to the press release. And Oracle CRM on Demand offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform with advanced core CRM functionality and features for all different types of companies.
Oracle continues to make advancements in its CRM capabilities, such as its recent collaboration with Google — a partnership that may help them compete against Salesforce.com, which was also named a leader in this year’s SFA Magic Quadrant. The Oracle-Google collaboration includes a beta version of its Oracle Gadget Wizard for Google Apps and Oracle Siebel CRM support for Google Apps like Google’s Secure Data Connector (SDC).
How much do you think Oracle CRM has advanced in the past year? What do you think Oracle is doing well with CRM and how do you think it could improve?]]>
There hasn’t been a lot of hollering about the price hikes, of course, because many corporate accounts are locked into long term software licensing agreements they can do little about until the agreements expire. And the same for maintenance agreements which go hand in hand with the software agreements.
Still, it is perplexing why in the midst of The Great Recession Oracle would raise prices by thousands of dollars on some products when some of its best customers are counting pennies as well as the minutes until this crisis eases.
It is true that the elevated prices represent merely a starting point in negotiations between Oracle and it customers. There is nothing stopping Oracle from dropping those prices in behind closed doors talks, but why poke the rattlesnake with a stick?
But it is moments like this where some frustrated users leave open that door to exploring opportunities to lower cost options, even if it is only for one-off departmental solutions.
This week, a relatively small open source database make, Enterprise DB may have given some frustrated users reason to keep that door to alternatives open.
With some clever marketing the company announced its Oracle Migration Assessment Program — which the company with a wry smile calls the Oracle Bailout Program – is designed as an enticement to attract users away from Oracle’s database lineup and sky high licensing fees, and over to the decidedly less expensive Postgres Plus Advanced Server.
“Oracle’s price hikes might be good news for those on Wall Street, but they’re terrible news for IT departments trying to function in the worst economy since the Great Depression,” said Ed Boyajian, the president and CEO of EnterpriseDB. True enough.
Admittedly however the program sounds a bit gimmicky, EnterpriseDB dreamed it up in direct reaction to the July 1 price increases. And the company is not releasing names of those who are interested in migrating away from Oracle. But the company’s timing could be just about right. So it is safe to say there isn’t a land rush toward the program.
The “bailout” essentially helps enterprise customers migrate any and all applications running on top of Oracle databases to the Postgres product, which is an open source based database with a built in Oracle compatibility layer. EnterpriseDB officials said they are guaranteeing no disruptions to an IT shop’s operation during a migration, truly a brave statement.
Enterprise officials may be going too far in saying the price hikes to the performance and tuning packs and other database options are indicative of what they will do with their newly acquired open-source bauble, MySQL. Only the good Lord and Larry Ellison know what they will do with MySQL, and I am betting the former is even a bit in the dark.
But if EnterpriseDB and other open source comrades can come up with some creative approaches that make financial sense, they could apply pressure on Oracle to lower pricing on its proprietary products and even force them to make a more obvious commitment to open source.]]>