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The Art of WAR: Benioff Counter Strikes @ Oracle World (Video)
Oracle World found itself dominated again by Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Mark Benioff. Oracle cancelled Salesforce.com’s keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 with only one day’s notice, prompting Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff to take the opportunity to speak with a journalist at a hotel next to the Moscone Center.
“Oracle just cancelled my keynote tomorrow, but the show must go on! Everyone is welcome to join me at Ame Restaurant tomorrow to hear about the social enterprise. Sorry Larry, the cloud can’t be stopped,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com.
The press conference video shows Benioff appreciative but showing his old master, Larry Ellison, that he has surpassed him at his own salesmanship when it comes to grabbing headlines and stealing the show. One for Marc Benioff and Zero for Mr. Ellison. Their jabbering has been going on for years, but this time it got down right ugly.
It all seems so silly to observers of the industry, considering the business relationships between the two companies. Larry was an investor in Salesforce and owns a majority shares in NetSuite, a company that competes with SalesForce with the SaaS business model. Most see the two CEO’s as old friends and colleagues that like to do their dirty laundry in public places for headlines. That does not leave much to be desired for the working culture of Oracle or Salesforce. If this is how old friends and current business partners treat each other on the public stage why would any new technology company want to partner with them?
Oracle’s big announcement this year was a launch of a public cloud offering and social network software for the enterprise. Neither of the product announcements were innovative enough to grab the headlines alone. If it was not for the side show action of the CEO’s of these two companies and the presence of acclaimed and beloved musician Sting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the rest of Oracle World 2011 would have been a non-event. Credit has to go to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for showing everyone that you can get better with age and reminding people why one starts rocking in the first place. Thank you, Mr. Petty.
Checkout the video of Marc Benioff’s response and let us know what you think of Marc and Larry’s continued squabbles.