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San Francisco-Next thing you know, they’ll be calling Joseph Grundfest a radical. The Stanford University law and business professor and former Securities and Exchange commissioner is being squeezed out of Oracle Corp.’s board of directors after joining a new corporate governance research center at Stanford Law School. Oracle announced on May 16 that Grundfest’s last day will be June 2, on the close of the company’s fiscal year. He has served on Oracle’s board since October 2001. The business software giant bid Grundfest adieu with little fanfare or explanation. Oracle Chairman Jeff Henley said in a press release: “Joe has been a very diligent and dedicated member of the board and its committees and has brought valuable insights and perspectives to the board. We thank him for his service to Oracle.” A company spokesperson provided no further comment, saying that “the documents speak for themselves,” referring to the company’s Form 8-K Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Grundfest said in a telephone interview that he would not comment beyond what he had said in his letter to the board. ‘Potential to raise issues’ In the letter, Grundfest wrote that he was asked to resign because of a perception that his new position as co-director of the Rock Center has the “potential to raise issues” that were “unanticipated” when he first joined Oracle’s board. “While I am of the view that these concerns are misplaced, I have decided to resign,” Grundfest wrote. Another Oracle board member told the San Jose Mercury News that in his new position, Grundfest “will be an advocate for experimental thinking in corporate governance.” The board member added that Grundfest “may embrace new ideas that are not mainstream or adopted by large companies such as Oracle.” The center, launched with a $10 million donation from venture capitalist Arthur Rock and his wife, Toni, will be located at Stanford Law School. Its mission, according to a statement by Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer, is “nothing less than to transform corporate governance in the United States and abroad.”

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