By Jonathan Davies

The boss of software giant, Oracle, Larry Ellison has announced his decision to step down from his role as chief executive after 37 years in charge.

Mr Ellison will maintain a key influential role within the company as chairman and chief technology officer.

Mark Hurd and Safra Catz have been named as co-chief executives, succeeding Mr Ellison who is the fifth richest man in the world with an estimated wealth of $51.3bn.

Mark Hurd will lead the company's manufacturing, legal and financial operations, with Safra Catz running Oracle's sales, services and business units.

Larry Ellison co-founded Oracle with Bob Miner and Ed Oates in 1977.

In a statement, Oracle board president Michael Boskin said: "Larry has made it very clear that he wants to keep working full time and focus his energy on product engineering, technology development and strategy.

"Safra and Mark are exceptional executives who have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to lead, manage and grow the company. The directors are thrilled that the best senior executive team in the industry will continue to move the company forward into a bright future.

"The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future."

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