Ellison gives me the creeps

Creator of Java James Gosling has been explaining why he left Oracle after it took over Sun.

In a long interview over dinner he  told eWeek that high on his list of reasons was that “Larry Ellison gave him the creeps”, but apparently it was also because of the way staff were being treated.

Ellison appeared as a potential saviour saying all the right things, but behind the scenes, doing all the wrong ones, Gosling said.

The fact Oracle cut Gosling’s salary didn’t help much either. But he also found that the outfit was stopping him doing anything with his Java creation and was just simply showing up at press events as a sign of continuity.

“Oracle is an extremely micromanaged company. So myself and my peers in the Java area were not allowed to decide anything. All of our authority to decide anything evaporated.”

Gosling felt that Oracle was “ethically challenged” and he said he had simply had enough, and decided not to work there anymore.

Gosling says he felt the hand of Larry Ellison in nearly all the decisions affecting Java.

He said he never had any direct dealings with Ellison, “He’s the kind of person that just gives me the creeps. All of the senior people at Sun got screwed compensation-wise. Their job titles may have been the same, but their ability to decide anything was just gone.”

For example in a bid to improve morale amongst the Sun faithful who endured the Oracle acquisition the company decided to rent out the Great America amusement park.

A few days before the event was to occur, Oracle Co-President Safra Catz got wind of it and put the kibosh on the thing.

“The word came down that Oracle does not do employee appreciation events. So she forced the thing to be cancelled. But they didn’t save any money because the money had been spent – so we ended up giving the tickets to charities.

“We were forced to give it up because it wasn’t the ‘Oracle Way.’”

More serious was Oracle’s lawsuit against Google over the use of Java in the Android mobile OS.
Gosling said Oracle’s lawyers’ eyes lit up when Sun talked about its Java patent situation.

He said that while he was ticked off with what Google was  doing with Java, getting into litigation is phenomenally expensive, not just in terms of money but in the time of senior people.

“Google has the PR aura about it as being the universe’s love child,” and suing the universe’s love child was not necessarily a position Sun wanted to take, Gosling said.