Database software company Oracle reported that Jeff Epstein, its chief financial officer, has resigned. Epstein became CFO in August of 2008, just nine months before Oracle announced a definitive agreement to acquire Sun, and with it open source database system MySQL.
Epstein will be replaced by Safra Catz, Oracle's president and former CFO. An Oracle board member since late 2001, Catz served as CFO for nearly three years, from November 2005 until Epstein took on the role in 2008. In addition to her three-year tenure, Catz likely continued to keep her finger on the pulse of Oracle's finances, as Epstein reported to her.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison expressed supreme confidence in Catz, noting that “There is no more logical choice for CFO.” She is one of only four people to hold the CFO position at Oracle since long-time CFO Jeff Henley left it to become chairman of the board in 2004.
Catz has more experience in the CFO position at Oracle than the other three men who have served in it since Henley's tenure in the job. Her new appointment to CFO is permanent, not interim. She will also continue in her role as president.
Such stability is likely to reassure Oracle's stockholders. One can anticipate that there will be no major financial changes or irregularities. In March, Oracle's fiscal third quarter profit rose to 78 percent, beating its own expectations. The increase came from strength in both its traditional software business and the new hardware business it acquired along with Sun. It is still unclear, however, how certain parts of the acquisition will play out, including open source software in segments where it already sells a proprietary product – such as MySQL.