Weeks after Oracle said its top cloud executive was taking a temporary leave of absence from the company, it confirmed Friday afternoon at the end of the longest week ever that Thomas Kurian has officially moved on.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Oracle confirmed that Kurian is a free agent. “On September 28, 2018, Thomas Kurian informed Oracle Corporation that effective immediately he was resigning as President, Product Development to pursue other opportunities,” it said in the filing.
Kurian’s departure comes just weeks after Oracle announced he was taking a break from his position overseeing Oracle’s cloud efforts, and after Bloomberg reported that a conflict with Oracle co-founder, executive chairman, chief technology officer, and person whose opinion seems to matter most Larry Ellison over the direction of Oracle’s platform software strategy. Kurian reportedly wanted to let more of Oracle’s software run on public infrastructure clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, which Ellison apparently resisted given Oracle’s feeble attempts to compete in that market.
It’s fair to say Oracle’s cloud strategy is now at a crossroads. The company acknowledged during its most recent earnings call that it expects to spend roughly the same amount of money on capital expenditures this fiscal year, at a time when rivals like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google are dramatically expanding their outlays on the hardware and buildings needed to run a modern cloud computing service.
And it’s also fair to say that Kurian is a very interesting free agent. He led Oracle’s efforts to transform the company from the on-premises server era to the cloud era, and while the results are decidedly mixed, he has more than 20 years of experience at Oracle and has overseen several key products and initiatives.