Analysts Say Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s Medical Leave Is A ‘Huge Blow’

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s sudden and unexpected announcement that he was going on medical leave is a potential setback for Oracle, analysts said Wednesday. Specifically, they said, Oracle’s sales strategy could suffer without Hurd at the helm, even as the company renews its efforts around cloud computing.

Hurd said he was taking time off “to spend time focused on my health.” Oracle has not offered any details on the reason for the medical leave or how long he was expected to be away. Safra Catz, Hurd’s co-CEO, will split Hurd’s duties with the Larry Ellison, Oracle’s cofounder and chief technology officer, the company said.

Hurd did not join Catz or Ellison on the call to announce the company’s fiscal first-quarter results. The call had originally been scheduled for Thursday. “We felt it made sense to share all of our news at once,” Catz said.

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