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Chuck Phillips Reportedly Surprised To Be Out

Who's kidding whom? Oracle co-president Chuck Phillips was fired.

Who's kidding whom? Oracle co-president Chuck Phillips was fired. Not only is that utterly obvious through the thin veneer of the "resignation" twaddle Oracle handed out but a source proverbially close to the situation says he was asked for his resignation on Saturday.

Reportedly Phillips was sandbagged, gulled into believing that ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd was going to come into Oracle as some kind of triumvir alongside him and his fellow president Safra Catz until he was unceremoniously pushed out, stunned to hear Oracle say that he had asked to leave in December and was importuned to stay through the Sun integration. "Asked," huh. "His decision" to leave, huh.

Apparently he learned nothing about his former boss Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's psyche during his seven years working for the man. Phillips cut his own throat when he was disloyal enough to secretly plan on going to CA as CEO, a disloyalty made all the more unforgivable by its timing - coincident with Oracle's hard-won, EC-bucking acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Well, Phillips never made it to CA. Those mysterious billboards detailing what bluenoses would definitely call his disorderly private life with a woman not his wife persuaded CA to renege - having one CEO in jail was quite enough publicity thank you very much - and CA chairman Ed McCracken got what he wanted all along - the CEO's job.

The theory is that Larry was tipped off and pulled the rug out from under him.

Chuck's second mistake was believing that all was forgiven. Larry is not forgiving. Anyway, people who claim to know say Phillips and Catz never got on and Larry always came down on her side, putting Phillips perpetually in the political doghouse. Good thing he traveled a lot and worked out of New York.

He must have realized he was skating on really thin ice some weeks ago when Oracle quickly recanted his public disclosure that Oracle had a five-year $70 billion acquisition budget, calling it bologna.

Oh, yeah? What do you think Safra meant the other day when she said - in welcoming Hurd on board - "As Oracle continues to grow we need people experienced in operating a $100 billion business." Did you for a minute think she was talking about HP, which is closer to a $120 billion company? Or did you do the math and say to yourself, hmmm, $27 billion plus $70 billion plus reviving Sun comes to around $100 billion.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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