Judge Rules Oracle Failed To Produce CEO's E-mail

A federal judge has ruled that Oracle destroyed or failed to preserve Chief Executive Larry Ellison's e-mail files sought as evidence in a class-action lawsuit filed in 2001 against the software maker. The suit seeks damages on behalf of Oracle shareholders who held the stock when it fell after the company reported disappointing results in 2001.

The lawsuit claims Ellison and other executives made false statements about the company's financial condition as well as the functionality of its Oracle 11i suite of business management software. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston also ruled that Oracle improperly failed to produce tapes and transcripts from interviews that a journalist conducted with Ellison in 2001 and 2002 as he gathered material to write "Softwar," a biography of the company's founder.

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