Mark V. Hurd
CEO, Oracle Corporation
Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives Club
April 22, 2015
TAKEAWAY: United States Still Driving Profits
Audience Member: Which of the 84 countries that you’re in, are driving profits for you, and where do you see the future.
Hurd: Well, the United States is a good country. I like the United States. I mean I think–listen, there’s a lot of different things going on around the world right now that are very complicated.
And we have to deal with those. I mean, you’ve got a certain set of things that have occurred in–for a country like Venezuela, for example–very complicated. The currency situation in Argentina–very complicated. You’ve got a big economy in Latin America and Brazil that’s now in recession.
You have a country in China that is now not growing as fast as it is and has now put regulation–so, for example, if you go to China right now, they have started a process where they have communicated to the state-owned ban–or the banks that–well, they’re all fundamentally state owned–that actually dictate to them where they can buy technology. Imagine that. You will buy PCs–by the way, we don’t sell PCs–but you will buy PCs from companies based in China. So we’re now going to legislate to you not only what you’re buying but where you can buy it from.
So all of these countries have a little different set of dynamics. I mean, it’s hard to argue that the country that has the most stable economy right now, in spite of everything you hear on TV, is right here. I mean. Europe has taken the long–you have people here at this table who know far more than I do about it. So I can tell you that, in Europe, what we see is a very slow-growth environment.
And we’ve invested a lot, so we’ve done something different. We’ve grown in Europe. I get questions all the time. We’ve grown 10%, 11% in Europe–in a market that’s been flat to -1%, -2% in IT. And it’s simply because we’ve put more salespeople in Europe–not because we see the economy being any better. This country’s been actually quite stable. And I would say, if you look at pipeline and people looking at opportunities, it’s a pretty active economy here relative to what’s around the globe.