Ex-Oracle CFO Maffei Named Liberty Media CEO

Maffei, who last week resigned as CFO and co-president of Oracle citing an "exciting opportunity," will become president and CEO of Liberty Media, the Englewood, Colo.-based media company said Wednesday.

Plans call for Maffei to take over the Liberty Media CEO post in the second quarter of 2006. He will replace John Malone, who will remain chairman, and will assume the president&'s role from Robert Bennett, who is retiring but will remain a director.

"I have known Greg [Maffei] for many years and have found him to be one of the most astute financial thinkers I have met," Malone said in a statement.

Before joining Oracle, Maffei spent seven years at Microsoft, where he rose to the position of senior vice president and CFO. He oversaw many of Microsoft's investments, including the acquisition of Great Plains Software, and managed Microsoft&'s spin-off of Expedia. He then became chairman and CEO of 360networks, where he spent five years leading the company&'s changeover from a networking company to a telecom service provider.

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Maffei caused a stir when he left Oracle after less than five months aboard. Tod Nielsen, another former Microsoft executive and a colleague of Maffei's, left Oracle this week to become CEO of Borland Software, the Cupertino, Calif.-based software company announced Tuesday. The two executive departures raised eyebrows among Oracle watchers.

Liberty Media, a holding company, and Malone, are huge players in the media world. Liberty Media owns--outright or in part--media powerhouses such as QVC, Encore, Starz, Expedia and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.