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- Oracle shares dropped as much as 6% on Thursday after the company said CEO Mark Hurd would take a leave of absence for health reasons.
- The announcement didn’t specify what health issues Hurd has or how long his leave will be. Company founder Larry Ellison and co-CEO Safra Catz will assume his responsibilities.
- Hurd led the company through a rocky push into cloud computing over the past several years as the company sought to compete with industry giants Amazon and Google.
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Oracle stock fell as much as 6% on Thursday after the company said co-CEO Mark Hurd would take a leave of absence for health reasons.
Company founder and chief technology officer Larry Ellison will assume Hurd’s responsibilities alongside his co-CEO Safra Catz. The announcement didn’t detail Hurd’s health issues or when he would return.
“Mark was extremely engaged with the business through the end of our just completed Q1, but now Mark needs to focus on his health,” Catz said in a statement.
Hurd served as chief executive for five years and was responsible for Oracle’s sales organization, advertising and software groups. He first joined the company as president in 2010, after having served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
The announcement came at the same time as Oracle’s fiscal first-quarter earnings results. The company announced earnings per share of $0.81, beating analysts’ $0.807 estimate. Revenue didn’t meet expectations, with Oracle bringing in $9.22 billion compared to analysts’ $9.29 billion estimate.
The company is in the midst of a pivot toward cloud computing, racing to take on Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in the lucrative sector. Hurd led the push and set the goal for Oracle to hold a 50% share of the cloud applications market. Current leaders in the business include Salesforce and Workday. Recent earnings reports revealed slowing sales as Oracle transitions from its legacy products to the relatively new industry.
Oracle traded at $53.41 per share as of 10:45 a.m. ET Thursday, up about 18% year-to-date.
The tech company has eight “buy” ratings, 23 “hold” ratings, and four “sell” ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $56.19, according to Bloomberg data.
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