Oracle CFO's Career Didn't Follow Straight Path | Summary and Q&A

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June 3, 2009
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Oracle CFO's Career Didn't Follow Straight Path

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Summary

In this video, the speaker talks about his unique career path from being a graduate student to being the CFO at Oracle. He discusses the different companies he worked for and the important events happening in the world at the same time. He also shares his thoughts on success and gives advice on how to choose the right career path.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the speaker go from being a graduate student to being the CFO at Oracle?

The speaker's career path was not direct. After graduate school, he worked as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group and then as a CFO at various companies before joining Oracle.

Q: What is the speaker's view on success?

The speaker shares a story about Baron de Rothschild, who said that the secret to his success was taking advantage of a price difference between products in the country and the city. The speaker believes that success comes from being observant and taking advantage of opportunities.

Q: What is the speaker's opinion on the next big industry?

The speaker believes that it is important for career growth to be in a growing industry. He mentions green tech, mobile content, and online advertising as potential growth industries.

Q: How has the speaker's job as a CFO at Oracle been different from his previous roles?

The speaker mentions that the size of the company and the support staff have been the biggest differences. At Oracle, he has 4,500 people reporting to him and is primarily involved in delegating tasks and leading the team rather than being hands-on.

Q: What is the most important thing the speaker learned at Stanford?

The speaker mentions that his background in finance and accounting was the most important thing he learned at Stanford. He also talks about taking classes in linear programming, which he found useful in his career.

Q: What is the speaker's view on choosing a career path?

The speaker advises choosing a career path in a growing industry to maximize career growth and opportunities. He also emphasizes the importance of aligning one's goals with the company's goals and surrounding oneself with great people.

Q: How did the speaker approach opportunities in the mobile and internet industries?

The speaker mentions that he missed out on opportunities in the mobile industry and was hesitant to join the internet industry. He later joined DoubleClick, a leading internet advertising technology company, during the internet bubble burst.

Q: What was the speaker's experience during the internet bubble burst?

The speaker mentions that DoubleClick's stock price dropped significantly during the internet bubble burst. They were able to raise capital, but the stock price continued to decline. He also mentions the importance of timing and decision-making during such volatile times.

Q: Did the speaker have any prior connections to Oracle before joining as CFO?

The speaker mentions that Oracle had moved to a location near his workplace at Boston Consulting Group, and he had missed out on joining Oracle earlier. He considers joining Oracle as a CFO as an opportunity to come full circle in his career.

Q: Does the speaker plan on staying at Oracle as CFO for the long term?

The speaker expresses his desire to stay at Oracle for a long time and continue contributing to the company. He mentions the possibility of transitioning to other roles within Oracle in the future.

Takeaways

The speaker's career path was not direct, but he emphasizes the importance of being observant and taking advantage of opportunities. He advises choosing a career path in a growing industry to maximize career growth and aligns goals with the company's goals. He also highlights the significance of surrounding oneself with great people and hiring talented individuals. Finally, he encourages staying adaptable and open to new opportunities throughout one's career.

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