A strange coincidence?

guards.jpegOn the same day that Oracle (ORCL) announced that its chief accounting officer was leaving in mid-October for “personal reasons”, it filed its annual proxy statement, which had an interesting footnote about Larry Ellison’s security needs.

In 2006, the proxy noted that Oracle spent $1.8 million on what it described as “home-security related costs and expenses.” That was up from the $1.36 million the company said it spent in fiscal 2005. One of the questions is why Ellison’s security expenses are substantially higher than what other companies are spending (see this post for a brief summary). After all, is Ellison really in nearly twice as much danger as Michael Dell, chairman of Dell Computers (DELL)? But the other question is why a quick skim of the proxy that Oracle filed last August shows that the company only reported spending $922K on Ellison’s security needs in fiscal 2005, or nearly 50% less than it says it spent for that year in the current proxy.

How can the numbers be off so much? Good question. Maybe the soon-to-be departed chief accounting officer knows. Oracle investors should hope that other numbers are a bit more on-the-mark.