Ray Lane, Oracle's number two is to leave his post at the database giant after eight years.
Lane's departure as president and chief operating officer was announced in a short statement issued by the company late on Friday. The news follows years of speculation that he was considering top jobs at Hewlett Packard, Apple, EDS and Novell.
As second in command to chief executive, Larry Ellison, Lane headed up Oracle's global sales efforts. Although he was courted by many IT vendors he always remained loyal to Ellison and Oracle rewarded him by tripling his salary and bonuses to $3.25m last year.
According to reports, Lane's department has been rumoured for about nine months. No replacement has been announced. In Friday's statement, Ellison said: "I am grateful to Ray for all of his efforts. He will be missed. We wish him nothing but the best."
In an exclusive interview with vnunet.com in 1998, Lane said he was happy to be Oracle's number two. "I can be number one at what I do best. I know how to sell, consult for customers and give them a good experience, but I really don't know how to develop products. Larry says: 'I am the head of development, you are the head of operations - we are partners.' He does not tell me what to do in operations and I don't tell him what to do in development."
Lane's departure follows the surprise retirement of Pier Carlo Falotti, as head of Oracle's Europe, Middle East and Africa region at the end of May.
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