You might have heard a thing or two about Oracle's corporate culture. The company is run by a controlling chief executive and targets are holy. There's nothing wrong with that. It has made Oracle a hugehly succesful software developer, for one. But it makes for a certain culture in which some will thrive and others will be scared away.
Yesterday Oracle at its corporate headquarters organised a get-together with Sun Microsystems to reaffirm their corporate alliance. I had to drive from MacWorld in San Francisco to Oracle's Redwood Shore's campus and arrived about 5 minutes late at the Oracle conference centre. Walking to the site, a brand new Bentley drove up and parked in a reserved parking spot. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison got out. He was joined by what looked like a body guard and a personal assistant.
But here's the thing. By the time I got in the lobby, every single employee was looking in awe at Larry Ellison – including the ladies over at registration where I needed to pick up my name badge.
"I'm here," I joked. "Guys, it's only Larry Ellison."
The PR ladies looked up like they had just seen a ghost or woken up from a deep sleep. They were captured by the entrance of a person that happened to be Larry Ellison.
If you staff stops functioning normally when they see the company executive, doesn't that by definition mean that the cult of the celebrity CEO has gone too far?
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