The boss of Oracle's Network Computer (NCI) subsidiary has resigned after 14 years with the database giant, leading to questions about the affiliate's future.
Jerry Baker, chairman and chief executive of NCI, will be replaced by Oracle executive vice president for mergers and acquisitions David Roux.
The company claimed that Baker had left, after running the network computer (NC) subsidiary for the past two years, as part of a 'mutual decision'.
Baker was unavailable for comment.
Roux is widely seen as a deal maker, helping Oracle to identify potential acquisition candidates.
Oracle said Roux has been appointed for his sales and marketing experience, which NCI needs at the moment.
Several US sources claimed that NCI struggled over the logistics of its merger with Navio, the software company that Oracle bought from Netscape in August 1997. It has been slow to develop into a money-maker that challenges Microsoft, as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison intended. NCI has shed more than 50 of its 200 staff since the Navio buy.
Netscape and other investors still own a third of NCI but Oracle effectively dominates the company, sources said. Observers claimed Baker left because, although technically gifted, he does not have the experience to run a growing, fledgling company.
In August 1997, Ellison said NCI should compete with Microsoft's WebTV to provide computers for the mass consumer market for under £700. But PC prices have fallen close to that level, leaving the NC as an inferior product which is only slightly cheaper.
Analysts still expect NCI to sell large volumes of product into niches which suit the NC technology, such as airline check-in desks and internet kiosks.
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference