In the News

Oracle to Buy Sun: Larry Ellison to become next Steve Jobs?

Oracle, based in Redwood City, Calif., announced Monday it had agreed to buy Sun for $9.50 a share in cash, or about $7.4 billion. The deal comes after talks between Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun and IBM Corp. came to a halt.

According to Forbes, the deal also represents a bold move by Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison. And to add on to the story, TechCrunch notes that Larry Ellison has always wanted to be the Steve Jobs of the enterprise IT industry. And with this morning’s announcement, it seems as though he is making a big step toward making Oracle more of a soup-to-nuts provider of enterprise technology.

So how close is Larry Ellison to becoming the next Steve Jobs? According to their respective employees, these two tech giants vary quite widely in terms of their approval rating. Apple‘s Steve Job’s holds a 27 percentage point higher rating that Oracle’s Larry Ellison. In addition, we find that 12% of Oracle employees actually disapprove of the way Ellison manages the company compared to just 2% of Apple employees who disapprove of Jobs.

Glassdoor Report: Apple & Oracle Comparison
Company CEO Name CEO Rating Company Rating
Apple Steve Jobs 91% Satisfied (3.8)
Oracle Larry Ellison 64% Neutral (3.2)

So what can Larry Ellison do to improve? Below is what Oracle employees list as cons about working at Oracle which in turn gives some big hints as to what Larry could work on and in turn hopefully push up his approval rating.

“Performance feedback is very lacking. I’ve been here 4 years and gotten 1 formal review. In addition to this, getting hired at Oracle can take some time, sometimes people have to wait a long time (up to a year) for Larry to approve their offer…. yes, that Larry.” – Senior Member of Technical Staff (Nashua, NH)

“The career planning role of HR is non-existent; they’re just administrative drones. There are lots of organization silos, even duplicative functions, who all care about reporting up the command structure rather than work together. All of this also translates into the company being weak at home-grown execution, and has a lack of vision in segments that Larry Ellison is not yet convinced about.” – Product Management Director (Redwood City, CA)

“Very process driven to the point of being absurd. No authority to do anything. Everything must be approved through multiple levels of management up to and including Larry Ellison. Even for minor contact changes. Not very nimble in the market.” – Sales Representative (Boston, MA)

“The shift in company strategy to grow through acquisitions reduced the motivation to innovate.” – Senior Development Manager (Redwood City, CA)

“Depends on what department you work in, but it’s easy to get lost. Oracle buys so many companies that they just eat you up and forget about you it seems. It’s very easy to have your skills outdated if you work there too long. My department worked on legacy stuff and it was very difficult to get another job with the skill set I had.” – Software Development Engineer (Pleasanton, CA)

Stay tuned as we watch how employees at both Oracle and Sun react to the news of this acquisition. Are you an employee at these companies? Tell us what you think.