Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle.
About 300 Oracle employees quit their jobs on Thursday to protest the decision by founder and CEO Larry Ellison to hold a fundraiser for President Donald Trump the night before, Bloomberg reports. It was a rare sign of dissent for a company known for its sluggish corporate culture. However, the circumstances of the small protest suggest that Ellison has less reason to worry about future employee revolts than some of his tech mogul colleagues.
"The protest, titled" No Ethics / No Work, "included around 300 employees who left their offices or stopped working in remote locations at lunchtime and devoted the rest of the day to volunteering or civic engagement," Bloomberg reports. Bloomberg's source asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.
Oracle employs more than 130,000 people, so a strike of 300 people is hardly a serious threat to the company. Some employees, concerned about retaliation from management, chose to support charities that spoke out against Trump's agenda instead of participating in the strike. Others took vacation for their free afternoon. In short, Oracle employees took a less confrontational approach than employees from other technology giants, including Google and Amazon.
According to Bloomberg, the website where the protests were organized was identified by the Oracle network. Oracle employees who visit the site from their work computers may receive the message "Access to this site may not be permitted under the Oracle Acceptable Use Policy. However, if the user is authorized and has legitimate business reasons to access the requested site, click below to access it. Your access will be logged. "
Oracle is now saying that this was an accident. According to a spokesman, the website was temporarily flagged by antivirus software, but was whitelisted as soon as the problem was found.
Oracle could benefit greatly from a close relationship with Trump. On Wednesday, the Trump administration's lawyers sided with Oracle in their high-level lawsuit with Google over API copyrights that will go to the Supreme Court next month. Oracle's campaign to extend copyright protection to software interfaces has few advocates in the software industry. Microsoft, IBM, and a number of technology group trade groups have asked the Supreme Court to side with Google. But the Trump administration confirmed Oracle's position in a letter to the Supreme Court.
Oracle also competes with competitors for valuable government cloud computing contracts. Earlier this month, a federal court granted Amazon's motion to prevent the Trump administration from signing a massive $ 10 billion cloud computing contract. Microsoft won the order, but Amazon claims that Trump personally and wrongly campaigned for the runners-up Amazon not to receive it. Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has an irritated relationship, in part because Bezos owns the Washington Post, which often criticizes the president and breaks flattering stories about him.
Oracle had been in the race earlier, but was not one of the last two competitors. But it's not hard to imagine why Ellison wants to ingratiate himself with Trump.