executive suites

Ellison Hints at Oracle Succession

Oracle founder and chief executive Larry Ellison said Co-President Safra Catz is first in line to take over leadership of the company. "If I dropped dead tomorrow, I think Safra Catz would be the CEO of Oracle," Ellison, 61, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg News in San Francisco after a company conference. Ellison's comments are his first on who may take over at the Redwood City, Calif., company he founded 28 years ago.


Alltel Formally Reviews Land Line Unit

Alltel said it has launched a formal review to assess the market "appetite" for a repositioning of its land line business. After evaluating various capital structures and strategic alternatives, the company said it is looking at options that could boost stockholder value.

Alltel said that early indications are "encouraging" and that it will provide further details when it reports third-quarter earnings in late October. Alltel, which offers fixed-line, wireless and long-distance phone service, has 15 million customers in 36 states generating nearly $10 billion in annual revenue.


Icahn Criticizes Plans for AOL

Carl C. Icahn, who is pushing for changes at Time Warner, said chief executive Richard D. Parsons' plan to fix America Online won't be sufficient to lift the company's stock price. Icahn is demanding a bigger buyback of shares and a spin off of Time Warner's cable television unit. Speaking in a phone interview, the billionaire financier was responding to Parsons' comments Wednesday that turning around the company's AOL unit was his "number-one point of focus."


EBay to Auction Off Mussolini's Limo

EBay will auction off Benito Mussolini's custom-build 1939 Lancia Astura limousine, the only model of its kind known to have survived World War II, to raise money for sick children. Proceeds will to go to Canada's SickKids Foundation, and the 10-day auction on EBay Motors is open to bidders worldwide from Sept. 30, EBay said in a statement on OTS newswire.

Oracle said quarterly profit rose 2 percent, to $519 million, and reported the slowest growth in new license sales in a year. Revenue rose 25 percent, to $2.77 billion. Oracle also reported sales that don't conform to accepted accounting principles of $2.91 billion, missing its forecast and analysts' estimates of $2.94 billion.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.