By Phil Jones Larry Ellison likes vacationing in France, but when it comes to doing business in Europe, he said the UK is a more attractive option. The Oracle Corp chairman and CEO was in London yesterday to address the Economist Conference event New Directions in Computing, but he took time out to warn European […]
By Phil Jones
Larry Ellison likes vacationing in France, but when it comes to doing business in Europe, he said the UK is a more attractive option. The Oracle Corp chairman and CEO was in London yesterday to address the Economist Conference event New Directions in Computing, but he took time out to warn European governments that the internet has no respect for nation states.
And the European country likely to lose the most from the internet will be France. I’m not picking on France, said the Oracle chief I like France, I take vacation there, but France isn’t likely to see many of Oracle’s investment dollars if the government sticks to its present policies.
The German government has just decided to lower corporate taxes to create jobs. France has decided to lower the working week to create jobs. If they’re lowering taxes in Germany, and lowering the working week in France where do you think we’ll be putting our people? Ellison said.
In all probability, assuming that the right skills are available locally, Oracle’s next tranche of European investment is actually headed for the UK. Ellison said the tax situation in the UK is the best in Europe, better than the US.
We’re not going to be laying people off in France, we’re not going to be pulling out of France, said Ellison. But the UK is a very attractive place to do business. We expect to see our labor force in the UK growing, and our labor force in other places shrinking, he added.
Ellison believes the internet will globalize world business, creating a boundary-less market for all goods and services. In such a world, governments will have to bow to market forces, or risk compromising the competitiveness of their economies. It’s called the world-wide web, not the German-wide web, or the Belgium-wide web, he said.
In future, Oracle plans to centralize all its functions, choosing the location for these centralized groups according to the locally available skills and the local fiscal climate. Today, the company maintains 70 human resource systems in different countries, but we are going from 70 to one said Ellison, who sees no reason why a German HR office cannot provide HR services in France and Italy too.
Indeed, the Oracle chief noted that the company’s current regional structure is riddled with wasteful duplication of functions. Every country has its own managing director, its own financial director, its own human resources, but this situation is unlikely to last for very long, he suggested.