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Oracle to Get New Legal Chief as Longtime Leader Daley Exits (1)

July 5, 2022, 8:40 PMUpdated: July 5, 2022, 9:37 PM

Oracle Corp. could soon have a new top lawyer as veteran general counsel Dorian Daley prepares to retire in August.

Daley notified Oracle’s board June 27 of her intention to retire next month, according to a July 1 securities filing. Oracle said Daley will “assist in the transition of her duties until her retirement becomes effective.”

Oracle and Daley didn’t respond to requests for comment about the computer technology and software company’s plans for her successor.

In June, Oracle received regulatory approval for its $28.3 billion acquisition of medical records provider Cerner Corp., while also securing a judge’s ruling nixing class action status for women suing over pay equity claims.

The company, whose chairman and chief technology officer is billionaire Larry Ellison, said in its most recent proxy statement that Daley earned nearly $11.3 million in total compensation during fiscal 2021. She has also sold off approximately $45.6 million in Oracle stock since last year, according to securities filings.

Daley’s annual pay included $875,000 in base salary, a $1 million bonus, and nearly $9.4 million in stock awards. The bonus was “in recognition” of her “significant contributions to Oracle’s legal strategy and success,” the company said in its proxy.

Daley currently owns Oracle stock valued at almost $23 million, according to Bloomberg data.

The company announced in late 2020 it would move its corporate headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas. Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and former CEO, relinquished the top executive role in 2014. Safra Catz has served as Oracle’s sole CEO since the 2019 death of former co-CEO Mark Hurd.

Daley, a former head of litigation at Oracle, has worked for the company since 1992. She took over as legal chief in late 2007 after Oracle’s former top lawyer, Daniel Cooperman, decamped to run the law department at Apple Inc.

Over the years, Daley has been an advocate for increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She led Oracle’s roughly 500-employee legal group through myriad legal and regulatory challenges.

In 2020, Oracle beat a $400 million pay bias lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor that accused the company of discriminating against women and minority workers. The Labor Department opted against appealing that decision—against the advice of its own in-house lawyers—in the final days of the Trump administration.

The following year saw Oracle see its long-running copyright fight with Alphabet Inc.’s Google come to an end over the latter’s alleged use of Java programming code in its Android operating system. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-2 ruling, overturned an Oracle win that saw the company claim $8.8 billion in damages. Daley had a key role in that case, according to a 2016 profile by trade publication Corporate Counsel.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has had a role on roughly 11% of Oracle’s caseload in US federal courts over the last five years, followed by Latham & Watkins and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe at nearly 8% apiece, according to Bloomberg Law data.

Orrick and Kirkland & Ellis represented Oracle in its battle with Google, while Kirkland and Hogan Lovells advised Oracle on its recent takeover of Cerner, which turned to Latham for outside counsel on that transaction. Latham has also previously handled deal work for Oracle.

(Adds information on outside counsel to Oracle in last two paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com