The boss of Oracle?s Network Computer Inc (NCI) subsidiary has resigned after 14 years at Oracle, leading to questions over the affiliate?s future and direction.
Jerry Baker, chairman and chief executive of NCI, will be replaced by Oracle executive vice president David Roux. Sources claim NCI struggled over the logistics of its merger with Navio, the software company which Oracle bought from Netscape last August, and has been slow to develop from a nice idea to a money-maker that challenges Microsoft, as Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison intended. It has shed over 50 of its 200 staff since the Navio buy.
Netscape and other investors still own a third of NCI but Oracle effectively dominates the company, sources said. Observers claim Baker left because he is technically-gifted but does not have to experience to run a growing, fledgling company.
Ellison said last August that NCI should compete with Microsoft?s WebTV to provide computers to the mass consumer market for under pounds 700 but PC prices have fallen close to that level, leaving the network computer as an inferior product which is only slightly cheaper. Analysts still expect NCI to sell large volumes of product into niches which suit the technology, such as airline check-in desks and Internet kiosks.
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