More Oracle OpenWorld head-in-the-cloud entertainment
The sparring marks the latest episode in a long history of cooperation and competition between the technology chiefs. Benioff worked for Ellison at Oracle for 13 years before leaving in 1999 to found Salesforce. Ellison was an early investor in Salesforce and briefly sat on its board of directors until Oracle launched a competing sales-force automation service in 2000.
The bickering is not likely to add clarity to the public’s understanding of cloud computing, a phrase for a variety of Web-inspired approaches to deploying software and services that has tended to defy precise definitions.
Benioff tried to be diplomatic, at times calling Ellison a “mentor” and “friend” to Salesforce, which was a sponsor of Oracle’s conference this year. Yet he could not resist questioning Oracle’s nascent hardware strategy. He said Mr. Ellison once advised him: “When weak, feign strength,” quoting “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu. “I think that was Sunday’s presentation,” Benioff said.