Oracle founder Larry Ellison has handed over his role as chairman to chief financial officer Jeff Henley.
The software firm insisted that Ellison's management responsibilities as chief executive remain "unchanged".
Oracle said that the move will enable the company to better serve customers, and complement its good corporate governance.
Henley has served as chief financial officer for nearly 13 years.
Ellison said in a statement: "[Henley] is a an expert on corporate governance and accounting. His knowledge and experience ideally qualify him to be our new chairman."
Henley will continue to carry out his financial duties until a successor is appointed.
In other moves at the company, Safra Catz, head of global operations, and Charles Phillips, field operations head, have both been promoted to president and will report to Ellison.
The changes come as some industry analysts and corporate watchdogs have begun to question the wisdom of retaining all-powerful chief executives in light of the growing importance of corporate governance.
Peter Ryan, customer relationship management analyst at Datamonitor, commented: "Ellison is a fairly hands-on person, as well as someone who likes the publicity.
"I expect he will want to [use this move to] carry on with some bold initiatives and get more entrenched in day-to-day operations.
"But if it doesn't work out at the bottom line, it may not prove so popular a move."
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