Former Oracle president Ray Lane left the company because of internal politics, not because of the 'Trashgate' escapade with Microsoft, it now appears.
According to US reports, both Lane and Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle and Lane's former employer, have changed their accounts of Lane's resignation last month.
Lane resigned suddenly on 30 June because Ellison had stripped him of nearly all of his duties, which included chief operating officer, he told US papers.
In fact, at the beginning of the 4 July holiday weekend he was with his two daughters in Oregon, said Lane, when Ellison called him and let him know he 'just didn't fit' in his new hierarchy.
Ellison has since substantially confirmed Lane's version, although he initially claimed that Lane's departure had been long planned.
Ellison told The Wall Street Journal that in using the word 'planned' he had meant that he had planned to call Lane and tell him that his duties were diminished.
Control and decline
While Ellison has been greatly increasing his own control over Oracle's day-to-day decisions during the past year or so, Lane saw an equally dramatic decline in his ability to clear deals and supervise departments, leaving him feeling increasingly frustrated.
Lane has repeated that he knew nothing about Oracle's hiring of a private detective agency to examine the refuse of several companies that had been funded by Microsoft, and denied that his quitting had anything to do with 'Trashgate'.
Not only is Lane insisting he received no settlement for leaving the company, he is also passing up stock options that, according to some estimates, are worth more than $200 million.
During his eight years with Oracle, however, he has accumulated enough stock to qualify as a billionaire, so perhaps his claim to feel no bitterness towards the company is accurate.
What Lane feels about Ellison himself is less clear, although he is almost certainly right in his assertion that there can only be one boss at Oracle - and that boss is Larry Ellison.
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