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Safra Ada Catz (born December 1, 1961) is an American billionaire banker and technology executive. She is the CEO of Oracle Corporation. She has been an executive at Oracle since April 1999 and a board member since 2001.
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She was made co-president and chief financial officer (CFO) in April 2011. She reports to the company’s founder, Larry Ellison. In September 2014, Oracle announced that Ellison would step down as CEO and that Mark Hurd and Catz had been named joint CEOs. In September 2019, Catz became the sole CEO after Hurd resigned due to health issues.
Catz was born in Holon, Israel, to Jewish parents. Her father was an immigrant from Romania. She moved from Israel to Brookline, Massachusetts, at six.
Catz graduated from Brookline High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986.
Catz was a banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, serving as a managing director from February 1997 to March 1999 and a senior vice president from January 1994 to February 1997 and previously held various investment banking positions since 1986. In 1999, Catz joined Oracle as senior vice president. She has been a non-executive director of Oracle subsidiary Hyperion Solutions since April 2007. Safra has been a TechNet executive council member since March 2013. She was a PeopleSoft Inc. director since December 2004 and Stellent Inc. since December 2006.
Safra Ada Catz joined Oracle Corporation in April 1999. She became a member of the company’s board of directors in October 2001 and president in early 2004. Safra is credited for driving Oracle’s 2005 efforts to acquire software rival PeopleSoft in a $10.3 billion takeover. Catz is also the company’s CFO, serving temporarily from November 2005 to September 2008 and from April 2011 to the present. Mark Hurd joined her as co-president in 2010. In December 2019, Oracle stated that Catz would be the sole CEO after Hurd’s death.
In 2009, Fortune ranked her 12th most powerful woman in business. In 2009 she was ranked by Forbes as the 16th most powerful businesswoman. In 2014, she was ranked 24th. Fortune published an Equilar analysis that said she was the highest-paid woman at a Fortune 1000 company in 2011. She made an estimated US$51,695,742 in total pay that year.
Catz is a lecturer in accounting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She was a director of HSBC from 2008 to 2015.
After the election of Donald Trump, Safra Ada Catz was one of several high-profile CEOs, including Tim Cook, Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Bezos, invited to talk with the then-president-elect about potentially taking up a position in the incoming administration. According to Bloomberg, she was considered for the U.S. Trade Representative or Director of National Intelligence post.
Catz is the highest-paid female CEO of any U.S. company as of April 2017, earning $40.9 million after a 23% drop in her total compensation relative to 2016.
Catz was elected to the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in December 2017, effective February 2018.
In March 2021, Catz garnered attention for her stock trading, by acquiring 2.25 million shares through the conversion of derivatives, before selling them on the open market at roughly double the price.
The Red Bull Formula One team has secured a five-year title sponsorship in 2021 worth around $500 million with Oracle, placing it among the most lucrative commercial deals in sports.prev View full list next