OPERATIONS

Oracle opening cloud development center in Seattle

BY Marianne Wilson

Redwood City, Calif. — Oracle Corp. announced it is opening a cloud development center in Seattle, its first such center outside of California. The company, which plans to hire about 100 engineers to start, said it chose Seattle to take advantage of the “deep expertise” in cloud computing available in the city’s rapidly growing technical community.

"Oracle is committed to providing organizations with the industry’s broadest and most advanced cloud portfolio," said Prashant Ketkar, VP, product management, Oracle. "By opening this state-of-art facility, we are equipped to aggressively build out new cloud services. Seattle has a deep pool of talented engineers with its rich history of innovation and is the perfect location for us to harness that talent in order to accelerate our cloud investments."

The center will be run by Seattle tech natives Craig Kelly, most recently chief technology officer at Edifice, and Don Johnson, formerly with Amazon and RealNetworks.

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FINANCE

Rite Aid names Roundy’s exec as CFO

BY Marianne Wilson

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid Corporation announced that Darren Karst is joining Rite Aid as executive VP and CFO, effective Aug. 20.

Karst succeeds Frank Vitrano, who has announced he will retire in September, 2015. Until then, Vitrano retains the chief administrative officer responsibilities for the company’s information technology, real estate and indirect procurement functions. He will also serve as a key resource in the development and execution of new business and growth initiatives.

Karst joins Rite Aid from Roundy’s a leading Midwest grocer based in Milwaukee, Wis., where he has been the executive VP, CFO and assistant secretary since 2002. Prior to that, Karst was a partner at the Yucaipa Companies, a private equity investment firm.

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FINANCE

Higher expenses cut into Overstock.com Q2 net income

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – A 23% increase in Overstock.com’s sales and marketing expense helped reduce its second quarter fiscal 2014 net income to $1.9 million, down 48% from $3.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew 13% to $332.5 million, from $293.2 million.

Patrick M. Byrne, CEO and chairman of Overstock.com, cited increases in technology spending as helping the company to quickly conceive and execute new ideas such as a recently launched consumer credit facility.

“Our increases in technology spending have supported an innovation cycle that has spun up to the point that we can conceive and execute on ideas much faster than at any previous time in our existence,” said Byrne. “Barring exogenous events, I anticipate that our innovative efforts will continue gathering momentum.”

In addition, Overstock announced that a California appeals court has set an Aug. 15, 2014 date to hear oral arguments in its previously dismissed stock manipulation lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. The court will also hear a motion to unseal the evidence that has been jointly filed by The Economist, Rolling Stone, Bloomberg, and The New York Times.

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