Lockhart quits Oracle, plans firm with Eskew and Feldman

REDWOOD, CA: Former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart has split

with hi-tech firm Oracle after seven months as SVP and advisor to CEO

Larry Ellison.



Lockhart is in talks with former Gore aides, Carter Eskew and Mike

Feldman to launch their own media consultancy.



One of Lockhart's close allies confirmed the talks but added: "This is

not a done deal." Lockhart told PRWeek: "I can confirm I'm leaving," but

added that speculation about a rift with Ellison was "total

bullshit.



The truth is pretty easy. We talked about the job and said it should be

based at Oracle headquarters (in Redwood). I raised that. We discussed

various scenarios to get me go out there, but ultimately I wanted to

stay on the East Coast."



Lockhart joked: "I just wish he'd move his company to Washington."



Even since he joined Oracle, Lockhart had been linked to a part-time job

at Edelman, though he turned it down because of a conflict with Oracle

rival Microsoft, an Edelman client.



Eskew, a former partner at BSMG, has been considering his options since

the presdiential election was settled in December.



While Lockhart wouldn't expand on rumors, he promised that a decision

would be made within weeks.



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