Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison is planning to hold a fundraiser at his California estate in Rancho Mirage on February 19 to help re-elect US President Donald Trump.
Some of his morally outraged underlings have published an online petition to convince the billionaire to "uphold company ethics."
The database giant, known among other things for suing its own salespeople to limit commission payments and for suing the US government to counter claims the IT goliath underpays women and minorities, has a Code of Ethics [PDF].
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That doesn't mean much. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter all have conduct codes, and all have faced criticism over ethically dubious decisions like pay discrimination, supplier labor abuse, golden parachutes for disgraced execs, tax dodging, supporting despots, censorship, or rights-trampling tech, and failure to police platform content.
Enron had a Code of Ethics, too. It still ended up shredding financial documents and declaring bankruptcy.
Even so, an indeterminate number of Big Red's employees, posting under the name "Oracle Employees for Ethics," want company executives to echo their condemnation and are asking Ellison to cancel the event.
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"We are disappointed that Oracle Founder and CTO Larry Ellison’s support of Donald Trump does not affirm Oracle’s core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct," the petition says. "As Oracle employees, we must hold our leaders accountable for upholding their ethical responsibilities."
Ellison, who in 2006 settled an insider trading case by donating $100m to his own medical foundation without admitting guilt or clarifying the tax deductibility of the unusual gift, has donated to a variety of candidates over the years, both Republicans and Democrats. In 2016, he donated $4m in support of the presidential bid of US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).
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The petition argues that Ellison's financial support of Trump harms "women, immigrants, communities of color, the environment, LGBTQ and trans communities, disabled people, and workers everywhere." It further claims that his association with Trump damages Oracle's company culture and relationship with partners and customers.
The petition had 350 signatories at the time this article was filed; Oracle has about 136,000 employees worldwide.
It's not clear from the petition how many of those endorsing its message actually work for Oracle, but several employees have identified themselves in the comment section, a decision that might put them at risk if they worked for an unethical company.
Oracle did not respond to a request for comment. ®