Eric Roza To Depart As Chief Of Oracle Data Cloud

Ryan Joe contributed.

Eric Roza is leaving Oracle Data Cloud (ODC) after more than four years as its SVP and general manager.

Roza told employees in a note on Monday that he plans to retire this summer, in order to spend more time with his family. (Full note reprinted below.)

“New and unexpected roles as a single co-parent to four young kids and primary caregiver to my aging father have made it increasingly difficult to serve as ODC’s leader, and I have thus decided to step down and retire from ODC this summer,” he wrote.

Rob Tarkoff, EVP and GM of Oracle CX Cloud, will oversee ODC “effective immediately.” Tarkoff will report to Steve Miranda, EVP of Oracle applications product development.

“I’ve enjoyed and been impressed with Rob in our interactions to date, and Steve and I both see him as the natural choice to lead ODC into the future,” Roza wrote. “He has a background in marketing technology and SaaS, thinks clearly and rigorously, is apolitical, is an optimistic realist and has quickly gained the respect of Oracle’s executive leadership.”

ODC will still be an independent global business unit within Oracle.

Roza oversaw much of the multibillion-dollar acquisition spree that created what is now the ODC, and he himself came aboard at ODC through an acquisition.

He was the CEO of data analytics company Datalogix for eight years before Oracle paid more than $1 billion to acquire it in 2015.

Once Oracle had added Datalogix to BlueKai, the data management platform it purchased in 2014, Roza was placed in charge of the combined entity and a strategy started to emerge: Oracle was looking for a foothold in the digital advertising space by facilitating the flow of data and insights.

With vision and checkbook in hand, Roza began to assemble the Oracle Data Cloud through acquisitions in quick succession: cross-device startup Crosswise and social sharing company AddThis (2016); digital measurement firm Moat (2017); and contextual intelligence platform Grapeshot (2018).

The total price tag was well over $2 billion.

But challenges started to emerge early on, particularly in Europe, where consumer privacy and data collection were becoming top-of-mind topics. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal only ratcheted up the pressure more.

Oracle shut down the third-party audience portion of its AddThis business in Europe earlier this year for fear of drawing the attention of regulators looking for GDPR infractions.

Roza acknowledged the gathering headwinds in his note to employees: “As you know, changes in our market environment have created meaningful challenges for ODC,” Roza wrote. “It has been energizing to see leaders throughout the business lean into these changes as a catalyst for both business and personal growth.”

Following his retirement from ODC, Roza said he will take time to focus on his family and himself, and to contemplate the best way to live fully and meaningfully during the second part of his life.

“This 12+ year journey has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life … I am deeply grateful to you and the 2,000+ current and past team members who have contributed to our success as a company and to my personal growth. What a team! And what a ride!”

The full text is reprinted below.

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Team ODC,

As many of you know, my last year has brought significant life changes. New and unexpected roles as a single co-parent to four young kids and primary caregiver to my aging father have made it increasingly difficult to serve as ODC’s leader, and I have thus decided to step down and retire from ODC this summer.  

This 12+ year journey has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Together, we have built an authentic, rewarding, inclusive and resilient culture; created one of the most ubiquitous, trusted and innovative companies in the history of marketing technology; and generated billions of dollars in value for our clients, partners and shareholders.  

I am deeply grateful to you and the 2,000+ current and past team members who have contributed to our success as a company and to my personal growth. What a team! And what a ride! 

I am also grateful to Oracle’s corporate leadership for empowering us to build the Data Cloud with a level of autonomy and support uncommon in the annals of corporate acquisitions. ODC has been far more than a job, and it’s hard to conceive of life without it. However, like all great journeys, this one must end. 

Effective immediately, the ODC will report to Rob Tarkoff, an experienced CEO and GM, who joined Oracle last year to lead the CX Product Org, reporting to Steve Miranda. I’ve enjoyed and been impressed with Rob in our interactions to-date, and Steve and I both see him as the natural choice to lead ODC into the future. He has a background in marketing technology and SaaS, thinks clearly and rigorously, is apolitical, is an optimistic realist, and has quickly gained the respect of Oracle’s executive leadership.   

The ODC will remain an independent Global Business Unit, and our E-Team & L-Team members will retain their existing responsibilities as they help Rob transition into his new role. I will remain in an Executive Advisory role through mid-summer, counseling Rob, the E-Team & L-Team, and Oracle’s executive leadership on strategy and continuing to sponsor key client relationships and strategic projects. 

As you know, changes in our market environment have created meaningful challenges for ODC. It has been energizing to see leaders throughout the business lean into these changes as a catalyst for both business and personal growth. At the corporate level, recent meetings and correspondence with Larry, Safra and Mark have underlined Oracle’s commitment to supporting ODC through these changes. I encourage all of you to embrace the accelerated learning such challenging environments offer. 

What’s next for me, post-ODC? I plan to take a break from full-time operating to focus on my family and to take time for introspection on how I can best serve and find meaning in the second half of my life, while healing from the family challenges brought by 2018. It is my plan to focus on health, happiness, performance, connection and adventure in the next chapter.

 Thank you for all you’ve done to contribute to this chapter! 

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1 Comment

  1. Roza was the most remarkable, visionary leader I've worked for since David Kenny in the early days at Digitas. He'll be back when he's ready and in a big way. Godspeed Eric!

    Reply

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