Executives didn’t shed any light on former Oracle cloud chief Thomas Kurian’s abrupt departure during the software company’s first quarter fiscal 2019 earnings call today.
Shortly after the fiscal first quarter ended in September, Kurian, who leads Oracle’s cloud business, said he was taking “extended time off.” Reports quickly surfaced saying that President of Product Kurian clashed with Larry Ellison, Oracle’s executive chairman and CTO, over the company’s cloud strategy. Kurian, according to a Bloomberg report, wants Oracle’s software to run in rival public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Ellison, meanwhile, has no love for other cloud providers, and especially not AWS.
On today’s call, an investor asked Co-CEO Mark Hurd about Kurian’s time off. “Thomas is a good guy, works awful hard. He’s taking a break, and we expect him back,” Hurd said. Hurd wouldn’t answer when asked when he expects Kurian to return: “I’ll stick to what I said,” he replied.
Kurian or no Kurian, however, Oracle cloud services didn’t meet Wall Street’s expectations, and the company’s shares fell more than 6 percent in after-hours trading on Monday.
Oracle reported total revenues for the quarter were $9.2 billion, up 1 percent year over year. Total cloud services and license support plus cloud license and on-premise license revenues were up 2 percent to $7.5 billion. Cloud services and license support revenues were $6.6 billion, while cloud license and on-premise license revenues were $867 million.
Earlier this year, Oracle stopped separating out specific revenue for its cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a service (PaaS). However, Co-CEO Safra Catz did say Oracle IaaS and PaaS grew “in the 20 percent” for the quarter.
And Ellison said the company’s autonomous database, which runs in the Oracle cloud, continues to pull new IaaS customers.
“Oracle has two strategic products that will determine our future,” Ellison said. “Our Cloud ERP product is the key to our strategic success in the SaaS layer of the cloud. And our Cloud Database is key to the IaaS layer of the cloud.”
Ellison also touted the database as “the world’s most popular and technically most advanced database.” And despite reports that Amazon plans to move completely off Oracle software by early 2020, Ellison said “even Amazon uses the Oracle Database to run most of their business.”