Oracle CEO Calls Ex-HP Leader Leo Apotheker a Criminal

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Oracle's CEO let loose here at D10, calling ex-HP CEO Leo Apotheker a criminal, saying he stole his company's software while he was at SAP. And he also poked fun at Apotheker's short tenure at HP, when the company publicly contemplated exiting the PC business and then decided not to. The world's most entertaining tech CEO was just getting started.

Ellison also refused to pronounce Leo's name correctly when reminded by interviewer Kara Swisher. He said I'll call him "Lee-o" instead of "Lay-o". (He got really fired up.) The CEO wanted to remind the audience that HP sent Apotheker out of the country when he was subpoenaed. However, Ellison wished new HP CEO Meg Whitman luck in her role.Larry Ellison also discussed what's next for cloud computing at D10, saying that it's all about social marketing. It's why the long-time Oracle CEO just spent $300 million to acquire Virtue, a social marketing platform.

"We can now not only track what you're buying but what you're saying to your friends about those products," Ellison said. We can take corrective action if we need to."

Ellison says that "consumers are now instrumented" and that traditional market research is no longer needed because of how much consumers are freely sharing online. Now shoppers "tell us everything about themselves. Every time you tweet, join a special interest group on Facebook, every time you search. It allows companies to monitor, market and service customers," said Ellison.

Oracle's CEO also doesn't buy that cloud computing is a new phenomenon. To him, it merely represents a "continuous evolution of the Internet" and branding. The long-time Oracle CEO says that services like NetSuite and Salesforce.com predated many services that are getting buzz now like iCloud and Google Docs.

Ellison shared that his company will soon launch a comprehensive Oracle Cloud service, combining ERP and CRM in a single platform. This platform as a service will go head to head with Amazon.

Like many other tech leaders, Ellison is also a big believer that PCs are giving way to tablets and smartphones. In other words, we've moved from a network of complex devices to a networks of simple devices. And the cloud is making that happen. "We've migrating the complexity off the PC and onto Internet servers."

During the Q&A session, Ellison wrapped things up by giving some advice to President Obama. He stressed that he needs to relax our immigration policy, which could lead to better innovation.

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Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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