Oracle's Ellison excited about Sun technologies

As the Oracle CEO expressed high hopes for the future of the newly merged companies, he criticized reports of mass layoffs

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison expressed high hopes for his company's now-completed acquisition of Sun Microsystems Wednesday but denied media reports that Oracle planned massive layoffs of Sun employees.

Expressing ambitions to be like IBM was in the 1960s, Ellison stressed that Oracle could offer customers a full line of integrated software and hardware technologies. He addressed attendees at a session detailing Sun-Oracle post-merger plans, held at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

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"It took a while, but Oracle and Sun are now one company," Ellison said of the $7.4 billion merger, which closed on Tuesday. "We're very excited. Sun has a wonderful heritage of engineering and innovation."

"Our vision for the year 2010 is the same as IBM's vision for the year 1960, which is go ahead and deliver a comprehensive suite of technologies," said Ellison. IBM was successful with that strategy and became "the most important company in the history of the Earth," he said.

"I believe that by having all the pieces, we can deliver better working systems," Ellison said.

But he denied media reports that said Oracle would lay off half of Sun's organization.

"I think the people who [reported] that should be ashamed of themselves," said Ellison.

"The truth is, we're actually hiring 2,000 people over the next few months to beef up the Sun businesses, and that's about twice as many people as we'll be laying off," he said. Prior to the completion of the merger, however, Sun was already in lay-off mode. Most recently, the company in October revealed intentions to cut 3,000 jobs.

The Sun business will begin contributing to Oracle profits in February, said Ellison. Last year, Ellison had said Sun was losing $100 million per month while waiting for the merger to close. The deal had been held up by European Union objections, which have been resolved.

Oracle, Ellison said, plans to sell to and service the top 4,000 Sun customers directly.  Customers, however, still can buy Oracle software to run on non-Sun hardware, he noted.

"If you want to run our database on HP, we'll sell you that," said Ellison.

Ellison also stressed Oracle's commitment to the Solaris Unix OS acquired with Sun and also to Linux.

"I love Linux. We're a big supporter of Linux. Solaris is an older and more capable OS," said Ellison.

Additionally, he stressed MySQL, the open source database that Sun owned, fits in with the company's strategy of offering different databases for different uses.

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