Channel Marker

May 13 2010   4:22PM GMT

Ellison rips Schwartz

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Never a dull moment for Larry Ellison.

Oracle’s chairman is not shy about rocking the boat, and this week took aim at former Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz in a very public way. In an interview, Ellison blasted Schwartz for spending too much time on his blog (translated into 11 languages!) and cutting sales people and too little time selling high-end Sun hardware.

Ellison is certainly not the first to criticize Schwartz’ penchant for social networking and free stuff.  Sun VARs had long been frustrated by Schwartz’s incessant talking up of freebies from Sun (OpenSolaris, Java, OpenStorage) instead of focusing on stuff they (and Sun) could actually sell. You know, for a profit!


Schwartz, often known as the pony-tailed one, even announced his departure from Sun  with a haiku posted on Twitter.

Ellison told Reuters that:

“Really great blogs do not take the place of great microprocessors. Great blogs do not replace great software. Lots and lots of blogs does not replace lots and lots of sales.”

Neither Schwartz, nor Scott McNealy, former Sun chairman and CEO (as well as on-and-off Friend of Larry”, commented for the story.

Ellison who made a career out of bashing IBM, is now positioning Oracle as a knock-off of the IBM circa 1960s, a provider of high-value, high-end, turnkey hardware/software bundles. His view of an integrated soup-to-nuts stack from hardware to application is also very reminiscent of Apple’s worldview.

Said one frustrated Sun VAR who made his living selling Sun hardware but now has seen Oracle take (or try to take) all of his big customers direct: “Under Ellison, Sun hardware is little more than an Oracle appliance.” And not a free one either.

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