The grudge match between Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and his former protege Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, has reached legendary proportions in recent years. Ellison and Benioff pepper their speeches and interviews with not so subtle digs at each other’s companies, and Oracle even went so far as to cancel Benioff’s scheduled keynote at the Oracle Open World conference in 2011.
The irony is that beneath all the bickering, Salesforce is a major customer of Oracle. Its web-based services are built on top of Ellison’s database software. That’s why Benioff was scheduled to speak at the Oracle conference in the first place.