Lockhart joins Oracle in loosely defined role, reporting to Ellison

REDWOOD SHORES, CA: After months of speculation, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart has joined Oracle, reporting directly to controversial chairman and CEO Larry Ellison.

REDWOOD SHORES, CA: After months of speculation, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart has joined Oracle, reporting directly to controversial chairman and CEO Larry Ellison.

REDWOOD SHORES, CA: After months of speculation, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart has joined Oracle, reporting directly to controversial chairman and CEO Larry Ellison.

Lockhart joined the software giant on November 23 and told PRWeek his role would be defined over the coming months. 'I'll be communicating what Oracle and its chairman are doing,' he said. 'I don't know yet if anyone will report to me.' He intends to spend two weeks a month in DC, but he denied suggestions he would be working on public affairs or lobbying issues.

'DC is where I live; I'll go to Silicon Valley as often as I need.'

Lockhart will have no shortage of issues to deal with. Several high-profile execs have left in recent months, including former president and CEO Ray Lane, who criticized his boss' domineering style. Oracle's reputation was further damaged this summer when it admitted using an investigating firm to search through Microsoft trash. There were even rumors this fall that Ellison had died - rumors that Lockhart happily denied.

Ellison is reportedly moving to develop a more positive image, in the manner of Bill Gates, through philanthropy and thought leadership.

Observers suggested that the forceful and candid Lockhart is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. But Mike McCurry, CEO of Grassroots.com and Lockhart's White House predecessor, said 'It's hard to be intimidated after the leader of the free world has yelled in your face.'





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