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New Oracle co-president is former Microsoft exec

update Gregory Maffei, Redmond's former CFO, will also serve as the database giant's chief financial officer.

update Oracle has picked former Microsoft exec Greg Maffei to be chief financial officer and one of three co-presidents.

Gregory Maffei
Gregory Maffei
Co-president, Oracle

Maffei, best known for his role as the CFO of Microsoft from 1997 to 2000, had been serving as the chairman and chief executive of 360networks, a provider of broadband communications services for small and midsize businesses. At Oracle, he is immediately taking on the role of co-president. He'll assume CFO responsibilities sometime in July, the company said Friday.

His responsibilities will be to oversee operations in several areas, including human resources, manufacturing and distribution, global real estate, and the legal department, the company said.

Maffei told CNET News.com he was excited to join Oracle as it aggressively expands its reach from the database market into enterprise applications and other arenas. The executive said that there are no specific financial problems that he will need to address taking over the job of CFO at Oracle, unlike his previous role at 360networks, where he was charged with helping the company bounce back from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"It's a great time to join the company with everything that is going on, with the acquisition of PeopleSoft being completed for the most part, and there are a lot of opportunities to help Oracle grow," Maffei said. "I'm looking forward to being an important part of that process."

Maffei said that while his role at Microsoft was different from what it will be at Oracle, he believes the time he spent in that job will prove valuable in executing Oracle's corporate strategies.

"I've seen what the challenges are in a successful software company moving into new areas, as Oracle is, and encountered the various financial concerns involved with pursuing that type of strategy," Maffei said. "In that sense I think my experience at Microsoft can be an asset in helping Oracle address its goals."

Other co-presidents at Oracle are Safra Catz and Charles Phillips. Catz, who had been working as interim CFO since the departure of former finance chief Harry You, will retain the title until Oracle announces its next round of earnings, in July. Harry You left Oracle in March to become chief executive at consulting company BearingPoint.


Charles Phillips
Co-president, Oracle

Phillips is one Oracle leader who some industry watchers have predicted may leave the database giant to become chief executive at another company. When asked in April about his thoughts on working with CEO Larry Ellison as a No. 2 and whether Oracle was a good place for him to stick around, Phillips noted that Oracle has produced several notable chief executives in Silicon Valley.

"He's produced several CEOs in the Valley--Tom Siebel, Craig Conway, Ray Lane. Some pretty famous people have worked at Oracle as No. 2s," Phillips said during a quick interview at an Oracle customer event. "He's had some good No. 2s that have worked out for both him and for other companies."

CNET News.com's Martin LaMonica contributed to this report.