One of the questions that continues to plague Apple is whether or not the company can survive without the leadership of Steve Jobs. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison doesn’t have high hopes for the Cupertino-based company.
Ellison, who was a close friend of Jobs, was asked about what he sees in the future of Apple by Charlie Rose in an interview for CBS This Morning.
“Well, we already know,” Ellison said. “We saw — we conducted the experiment. I mean, it’s been done. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. We saw Apple without Steve Jobs. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. Now, we’re gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs.”
By way of demonstration, Ellison drew an upward trending graph in midair with his index finger whenever Jobs was in power which then plummeted as soon as Jobs left power.
While Ellison is down on Apple’s prospects, it’s worth noting that the company is in a different position now than it was after Jobs’s original ouster. Tim Cook and his leadership team are all veterans of Jobs’s Apple. Whether or not that’s enough to continue to propel the company forward remains to be seen, but I think they have a better chance than John Sculley and Gil Amelio did.
Watch a preview of the interview here. The rest of Ellison’s interview will air this morning.
UPDATE: CBS has posted the full interview, embedded here.
When asked about Oracle’s ongoing feud with Google, Page showed significant disdain for the company’s use of Java tools for building Android apps.
Ellison: Let me be very clear. When you program–when you write a program for the Android phone, you use the Oracle tool, you use the Oracle Java tools for everything, and then at the very end you press a button that says convert this to Android format. We don’t compete with Google. We don’t do anything Google does, we just think they took our stuff, and that’s a separate issue.
Rose: But you think they’re evil?
Ellison: I think what they did was absolutely evil.
Rose: And you blame Larry Page?
Ellison: 100 percent Larry Page.
Rose: So if what they did is evil, that makes Larry Page evil.
Ellison: No, it makes what he did evil, which is quite different.