Oracle C.E.O. Mark Hurd Is Taking a Medical Leave

SAN FRANCISCO — Oracle said Wednesday that Mark Hurd, one of two chief executives at the big software company, would take a leave of absence to address undisclosed medical issues.

Mr. Hurd’s leave means Safra Catz, the other chief executive, and Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman and chief technology officer, will lead the company for an undetermined length of time.

Oracle also announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter on Wednesday afternoon, a day earlier than expected. It and other established tech companies are facing pressure as customers shift from paying upfront to use software run on their own computers in favor of subscription offerings delivered through cloud services.

The company, whose summer quarter is often its weakest of the year, reported that net income had declined 6 percent on flat revenue when compared with a year earlier, though Oracle executives pointed to other metrics indicating its own cloud offerings are gaining traction.

Shares of Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., declined about 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Word of Mr. Hurd’s leaves came the week before Oracle’s big annual conference in San Francisco.

“Though we all worked hard together to close the first quarter, I’ve decided that I need to spend time focused on my health,” Mr. Hurd, 62, said in a message to employees. “At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence.”

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Ms. Catz told analysts in a conference call that she and Mr. Ellison should have no trouble handling Mr. Hurd’s responsibilities during his leave.

“He needs to focus on his health and taking care of himself,” she said.

Mr. Hurd, considered one of the most capable managers in the technology industry, spent 25 years at the business-technology company NCR before moving to Silicon Valley to become chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. He led HP for five years before he was ousted in 2010 after a high-profile scandal over his relationship with a consultant to the company.

Mr. Hurd was swiftly hired by Oracle, which competes with his old company and has fought legal battles with other software companies and Google. Lately, he has been particularly involved in Oracle’s response to the shift to cloud-based subscription offerings.

“I think he has a really good hold of what the company needs to execute,” said Seth Lippincott, research director at Nucleus Research, a firm that studies information technology.

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