Battle of the CEOs: Oracle & SAP in personal showdown

Larry Ellison is many things but shy is not one of them. So few people were surprised late last month when the Oracle founder took a moment during the keynote address at the Oracle customer conference to bash competitor SAP.

Now SAP CEO Bill McDermott is responding.

Ellison preceded his September comments with “I’m going to try to be nice, but it’s so hard!”

He went on to name SAP owned companies that run on Oracle instead of SAP’s own cloud system HANA.  “Ariba runs on Oracle. SuccessFactors runs on Oracle. They just bought Concur; it's moving to Oracle. I have no idea what runs on HANA, but it ain’t their cloud. That runs on Oracle. It’s rude, but it's the truth,” said Ellison.

In the above interview, McDermott responded very diplomatically saying, “If I was in Oracle’s position, I would be doing the same thing.”

He went on to explain the logistics happening behind the scenes with HANA.

“So you’re saying larry Ellison was wrong about this essentially?” asked Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task.

“Oh, absolutely,” said McDermott. “I’m not saying he’s wrong that the companies were running on Oracle databases, that’s true. I am saying that we’re moving them to next generation architecture and incidentally I’d be happy to offer our next generation architecture to Oracle or all of Oracle’s customers, too.”

McDermott also took the time to congratulate Ellison on his recent decision to step down as CEO and shift into the roll of Chief Technology Officer. “He’s had a fabulous career and he deserves the congratulations for that,” said McDermott.