Oracle's chief executive officer is retiring.

Lawrence J. Ellison, more commonly known as Larry Ellison, has announced he will step down as head of the company he founded in 1977. He turned 70 last month, and Oracle revealed he will now take on a new post as executive chairman of the Board of Directors as well as chief technology officer.

As part of his retirement from Oracle, the current chairman, Jeffrey Henley, will become vice chairman, and the chief executive position will be shared by Mark Hurd, who is currently co-president, and Safra Catz, who is currently co-president and chief financial officer.

Oracle’s software and hardware allows companies and large organisations to manage data, among other things. It is also famous for a lawsuit it filed against Google in 2010, concerning patent and copyright infringement of Java in Android.

Oracle acquired the Java patents when it bought Sun Microsystems, but a trial judge ruled that the structure of the Java APIs used by Google was not copyrightable. Later however an appeals court partially (and controversially) overturned that ruling.

Oracle is often also associated with Apple, or more specifically, Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple. That's likely because Ellison and Jobs were close friends and because Ellison was made a director of Apple Computer in 1997 after Jobs returned to the company.

Ellison's relationship with Apple, combined with his personal fortune, makes him one of the technology industry’s most recognisable players. In 2014, Forbes claimed Ellison was the third-wealthiest man in the US and the fifth-wealthiest person in the world. He reportedly has a fortune of $52 billion.

Oracle reported first-quarter earnings as well on Thursday. It posted revenue of $8.6 billion and net income of $2.2 billion, or 48 cents a share. Shares of Oracle fell slightly about 2 percent in early after-hours trading.

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