Oracle connection: GOP ‘bodyslam’ candidate sold his tech firm to Oracle for $1.5 billion

The Montana Republican Congressional candidate charged with assaulting a reporter packs a powerful tech pedigree.

Long before he allegedly took the bespectacled scribe’s neck in hand and flung him floorward in prelude to a pummeling, would-be Congressman Greg Gianforte founded a customer-service software firm that he sold to Oracle for $1.5 billion.

Gianforte reportedly attacked Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian newspaper, after Jacobs asked questions about the Republican health care plan on May 24, the night before the state’s special election.

“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs told his newspaper by phone from inside an ambulance. “I think he whaled on me once or twice.”

A Fox News reporter at the scene — Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman — provided details of what she saw from nearby:

“Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him,” Alicia Acuna wrote in an online story. “Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’

“Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken.”

Gianforte was issued a citation for misdemeanor assault.

It was in 2011 that Gianforte sold his Bozeman cloud-based software firm RightNow Technologies to Oracle.

“RightNow’s products add leading customer experience capabilities that help empower companies to interact with and provide a consistent experience to customers across channels,” Gianforte said in an Oracle press release announcing the $1.5 billion deal.

It appears that Dan Primack, business editor for news website Axios, was first to notice Gianforte’s history with Oracle.

Gianforte, in his LinkedIn profile, says that after the sale he worked as a consultant for Oracle for 14 months. He had led RightNow as founder and CEO for 15 years, according to the profile.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on May 25 called on Gianforte to apologize, although Ryan himself seemed to view the news media as a separate species.

“There’s no time where a physical altercation should occur with the press or just between human beings,” Ryan said, according to CNN.


Photo: In this March 6, 2017 file photo technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte speaks to Republican delegates before a candidate forum in Helena, Mont. Gianforte, charged with shoving a reporter to the ground on the eve of a special election kept a low profile Thursday, May 25, even as supporters prepared a hotel ballroom for a possible victory party. (AP Photo/Matt Volz, File)


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  • Jim Bray-Old school security

    Greg Gianforte showed he has a short fuse and is a valiant man. The old saying applies to Greg, if you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get out!