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Oracle insiders say a key cloud VP is out after about a year. Here are the details on the big changes at Oracle's important cloud security business.

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Oracle's all-important cloud business has reorganized one of its key units and replaced the leader after only about a year, according to company insiders and an internal email viewed by Insider.

Mahesh Thiagarajan is the new leader of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) security platform. OCI is Oracle's cloud computing unit and its best hope to take on the dominance of Amazon Web Services. The OCI unit has more than 10,000 employees overall, and the security organization under its umbrella has a few hundred employees. 

"Security continues to be a top priority for OCI," Don Johnson, executive VP of the OCI division, wrote in a June email notifying employees about the reorganization, viewed by Insider.

Johnson's email explained that the security team is not just responsible for keeping OCI safe from hackers, but also providing security services to customers: "The focus of our security has been steadily expanding — from ensuring the security and compliance of our core cloud platform, to supporting PaaS, Saas, and ultimately all of Oracle cloud, and to providing customers the same platform to secure their own environments."

Two people familiar with the reorganization say that Thiagarajan is replacing Steve Fu, the vice president of OCI security who joined Oracle from Salesforce in 2020. Johnson's email doesn't mention Fu, and Fu did not respond to requests for comment. Oracle declined to comment for this story.

Meanwhile, Venu Aravamudan, the senior vice president who ran both security and platform, will retain responsibility for a more limited set of cloud services, known internally as identity and commercial systems. One Oracle employee describes the changes as appearing to take "power" and "responsibility" away from Aravamudan and give it to Thiagarajan.

Another Oracle employee said Thiagarajan was specifically chosen because the executive earned "Clay and Don's trust," referring to Johnson and OCI co-leader Clay Magouyrk.

Fu's status with the company is unclear. Fu's LinkedIn profile still lists the title of Oracle vice president, and the company is known to simply "reassign" executives, as Insider recently reported. For example, earlier this year, the company transferred the direct reports under Tony Grayson, the senior vice president of physical infrastructure for Oracle's cloud, to another executive.

More than a dozen current and former Oracle employees and executives recently told Insider that OCI is led by what one person described as a "culture of fear," telling Insider that Magouyrk is known for trying to get results by "beating down" employees emotionally. 

Since 2020, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has lost at least a dozen vice presidents, including Rahul Patil, a former senior vice president of software engineering, and Steve Daheb, a former senior vice president.

Insiders said they believed at least some of the attrition was attributable to the culture created by Magouyrk, and his leadership style was cited in a pair of lawsuits filed by former vice presidents against the company and an executive. One of the former vice presidents who sued Oracle died by suicide in April. An attorney for the VPs said the cases are headed for arbitration.

Do you work at Oracle or have insight to share? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (astewart@insider.com).

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