Oracle boss Larry Ellison is rumoured to have hired a firm of San Francisco headhunters to find new management to run Apple if he buys the firm. His hostile takeover plans looked more likely to succeed after the hardware company reported appalling second quarter losses this week.
Ellison last month confirmed long standing Silicon Valley speculation that he intended to buy Apple when he announced that he was putting together a group of investors to mount a $1.25 billion bid for 60 per cent of the company?s outstanding stock. At the time, he said he would decide whether to proceed with the takeover attempt in the next few weeks, after he had gauged reaction to his plans from analysts and customers.
According to Silicon Valley sources, Ellison has been successful in putting together a consortium of backers to fund the bid - no names have been confirmed - and in the wake of Apple?s announcement of a second quarter $708 million loss on Wednesday, a hostile bid now seems almost inevitable in the next few weeks.
The latest sign that Ellison intends to make good on his threat comes with the rumour that he has contracted San Francisco recruitment firm The Geneva Group to find him senior executives to form a new Apple management team. Ellison has already made it clear that in the event of a successful takeover, his first action will be to fire current chief executive Gil Amelio and his team.
For his part, Amelio remains unruffled by Ellison?s actions, in public at least. Talking to analysts following the announcement of the quarterly losses this week, he said: "We?ll have to wait and see. Mr Ellison will do what Mr Ellison does, but I?m going to stay focused on what we have to do at Apple."
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