Oracle Corp co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd has died, the business software maker said on Friday, an unexpected development that raises pressure on co-CEO Safra Catz to lead the company`s ongoing transition to cloud computing.
Hurd, 62, went on medical leave last month, with Catz and founder Larry Ellison taking over his responsibilities during his absence. The company did not provide any further details at the time.
Hurd and Catz were named co-CEOs in 2014, after Ellison decided to step aside to focus on his role as chief technology officer.
Under their tenure, Oracle has been aggressively pushing into cloud computing to make up for a late entry into the fast-growing business.
Last month, the company missed revenue estimates, indicating it was struggling to make inroads into the highly competitive cloud market dominated by Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc.
"Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague," Ellison wrote in an email to Oracle employees.
"Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle."
Hurd joined Oracle as co-president in September 2010, a month after he was ousted in a controversial fashion from Hewlett-Packard Co, where he had been chief executive since 2005.
When Hurd and Catz were named co-CEOs in 2014, analysts were skeptical about the dual CEO structure. However, cloud software giants like Salesforce.com Inc have followed suit with a similar structure.
Wedbush Securities Steve Koenig said he does not see any changes in how the company will be run.
"Safra and Larry have been long-time collaborators and partners in leading Oracle, and the company has a deep bench of sales talent."