Oracle appears to have reassigned a cloud executive sued by former VPs

  • Oracle appears to have reassigned a senior VP who is named in lawsuits against the company.
  • The lawsuits allege the SVP “actively insulted people” and that Oracle fired VPs who wanted him investigated.
  • The SVP, Tony Grayson, had his direct reports reassigned, two people tell Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Oracle appears to have reassigned a senior vice president who is named in lawsuits alleging, among other things, that the executive “actively insulted people” and that Oracle fired two VPs who asked the company to investigate him, Insider has learned.

Oracle transferred direct reports under Tony Grayson, the senior vice president of physical infrastructure for Oracle’s cloud who is named in the lawsuits, to another executive, according to two people familiar with the matter.

An excerpt of an email shared with Insider said to be sent from an Oracle executive says Grayson will “focus on key data center innovation and architecture-related projects.” Insider has yet to review the email. A longer excerpt was shared on a private online forum accessible only accessible with an address, also shared with Insider.

Grayson’s direct reports will be reassigned to Ted Wallace, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure operations and support, the two people said. Oracle declined to confirm or comment on the changes. Grayson still appears on Oracle’s org chart with 11 direct reports and 481 reports, but it’s unclear how often Oracle updates the chart. Grayson did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him.

While the terms around Grayson’s apparent reassignment are unclear, Grayson is named in companion lawsuits filed by two former Oracle vice presidents including allegations such as wrongful termination, retaliation, and breach of contract. The lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of California County of San Mateo, and Oracle is seeking to compel arbitration in both cases.

“The incendiary allegations in the complaints are without merit and Oracle is confident that that the actual facts will prevail,” an Oracle spokesperson said. “The facts do matter.”

Former VPs allege Grayson ‘actively insulted people’ and set ‘unreachable’ deadlines

The broad strokes of the claims in those lawsuits are that Grayson hired the two former vice presidents away from other jobs under false pretenses, fostered a “toxic work environment,” and that the company fired them after they went to HR and asked the company to investigate.

The former vice presidents are Ken Patchett, who joined Oracle in September 2019 as vice president of data center services, and Peyton Maynard-Koran, who joined in March 2020 as vice president of network. Maynard-Koran recently died by suicide. Andrew Watters, the attorney for Patchett and Maynard-Koran, said both lawsuits are planned to move forward. 

The former VPs claim while Oracle “was commonly known in the industry to have a toxic work environment,” Grayson “painted an extreme rosy picture of Oracle and OCI” during the interview process while attempting to convince them to leave their previous employers.

That’s not what the VPs claimed to have experienced, according to the lawsuits. “Grayson would speak negatively about the peers, stating his trademark put-downs ‘they don’t know what they are doing,’ ‘they can’t write documents,’ or they were otherwise deficient,” one complaint states. 

Grayson allegedly “actively insulted people” and changed dates to impress his boss “even though the team had told him these dates were unreachable, and then would tell the team they were failing when they could not meet those dates.”

Grayson spent 20 years in the US Navy before joining Facebook in February 2016 as global director of operations and data center infrastructure. He left Facebook after less than two years and joined Amazon Web Services in October 2017 as global head of design and engineering for network scaling and integration.

Grayson was at AWS for just seven months before becoming Oracle’s cloud vice president of infrastructure in April 2018, and was promoted to the company’s senior vice president of physical infrastructure for Oracle’s cloud in June 2020.

The complaints allege toxic behavior at the highest levels of OCI leadership

The complaints also make claims about Oracle Cloud Insfrastructure Executive Vice President Clay Magouyrk. Last June, Magouyrk took over OCI. In a June 30 email to employees viewed by Insider, longtime OCI leader Don Johnson said he was “handing full responsibility for OCI” to Magouyrk. 

One complaint states that Magouyrk at one point told Patchett, one of the VPs, that a project Patchett was working on was “dumb” and told him to “shut up.” “Magouyrk was also very toxic in email, telling people, ‘I’m tired of this attitude and I find it counterproductive,’ and telling them that ‘I think you should go decide if you want to work together on this or be combative. Let me know,'” the complaint states. When Insider called Magouyrk’s cell number for comment, he hung up.

It’s unclear how much of OCI Magouyrk now leads after Johnson returned in December to run a new cloud and artificial intelligence organization, which he described as “an extension of OCI, not a division of it.” Magouyrk continues to lead OCI “proper” under the new organization, according to a Dec. 11 email viewed by Insider. Oracle in January declined to comment beyond confirming Johnson and Magouyrk both report directly to Ellison.

Do you work at Oracle or have insight to share? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]).

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