Why did Oracle’s co-CEO Safra Catz visit Trump?

After tension between the tech world and President-elect Donald Trump reached a high pitch during the campaign, with Apple, Amazon and others becoming targets of his criticism, Silicon Valley is now trying to figure out why one of the region’s corporate elites would be meeting with Trump.

While an Oracle spokeswoman confirmed last Thursday’s meeting between its co-CEO Safra Catz, sometimes called Larry Ellison’s ”enforcer,” and the president-to-be, there were no additional details released by either the Redwood City tech giant or the Trump campaign.

Oracle did not immediately respond to this newspaper’s request for a comment Monday.

That leaves many in the valley scratching their heads. A Fortune article said Catz was being considered for a cabinet post, but it did provide any evidence to back up the claim. Reporters monitoring the flow of visitors to Trump Tower on Thursday said only that the president-elect was scheduled to meet with Catz, along with others including Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling, whose name has been floated for Treasury secretary; FedEx Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith; and Florida Governor Rick Scott.

And it’s not clear how well, if at all, Catz and Trump know one another. The Washington Post reported that Catz, who was named co-chief executive (along with Mark Hurd) of Oracle in 2014 when company co-founder Ellison stepped back from the CEO role, has donated to both Democratic and Republican candidates in the past. This year, Catz, Hurd, and Ellison all gave money to the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio, who ran against Trump in the Republican presidential primaries.

If she were being considered for a post in the Trump White House, Catz comes with stellar credentials, boasting extensive experience in finance. At Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, she worked as an investment banker. Coming to Oracle in 1999, Catz served as the software giant’s chief financial officer for several years and developed a reputation as being one of Ellison’s closest and most loyal advisers.

Photo: Safra Catz, Oracle co-CEO. (Bay Area News Group archives)


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