January 28, 1998 4:30 AM PST

Ellison: Jobs is best Apple CEO

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Oracle (ORCL) chairman Larry Ellison yesterday said Apple Computer (AAPL) is already being led by the best chief executive.

"[Apple] has the best interim CEO in the world," said Ellison, speaking at a technology investment conference.

Ellison, who sits on Apple's board of directors, said he could not comment on whether Steve Jobs, Apple's founder and interim chief, would likely hang on to the job permanently. Jobs has to decide that for himself, he said.

"It is a lot of work, and he has put a tremendous amount of work into the company already," he added, noting the company's recent profitable quarter.

The Oracle chief also declined to discuss Apple's current effort to search for a permanent CEO. Jobs has been serving as interim chief executive since September, after Gilbert Amelio was ousted from that post in July.

Ellison also noted that Apple's strategy likely will concentrate on a network computing architecture, and on products that cost $500 to $1500, rather than the more expensive graphics computers for which the company is known.


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