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Benioff removed as speaker at OpenWorld

Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO and onetime close friend of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, blames the Oracle boss for the move.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce.com and onetime close friend of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, said he has been removed as a speaker from Oracle's OpenWorld conference going on this week in San Francisco, and he blames Ellison for the move.

"Larry just cancelled my keynote tomorrow! Beware of the false cloud," Benioff said in a Twitter post this evening. Despite the cancellation, Benioff seemed undeterred, announcing that he had moved his appearance to the St. Regis. "The show must go on! Sorry Larry!"

In a statement on the matter, Oracle characterized the move as a scheduling change that was due to heavy attendance at the conference.

"Due to the overwhelming attendance at Oracle OpenWorld we had to make several session changes," a company representative said in a statement. "The Salesforce.com Executive Solution Session was moved to Thursday at 8:00am in the Novellus Theatre."

Benioff said Oracle's revised schedule conflicted with planned travel and he would be unable to attend.

The row is the latest flare-up in a long-simmering feud between Benioff, who spent years learning the ropes at Oracle under Ellison, and the Oracle CEO, who was an early investor in Salesforce.com.

It would appear there is still bad blood between the Ellison and Benioff, who told CNET in 2004 that "we made Larry Ellison a lot of money on the IPO, but I haven't really got my thank-you call yet from him."