Cloud spat: Benioff cries foul over Oracle keynote cancellation

Marc Benioff, CEO of, at Net:Work 2010Updated. Marc Benioff says Larry Ellison took his microphone away. Benioff, the (s CRM) CEO, was slated to make an Oracle OpenWorld keynote this morning.

At about 7 p.m. Pacific time last night, Benioff tweeted, “Larry just cancelled my keynote tomorrow! Sorry #oow11! Join me @ St. Regis AME Restaurant at 10:30AM! The show must go on! Sorry Larry!”

“Larry” is presumably Oracle (s ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison.

Later Tuesday night, in response to questions about how this transpired, Benioff said (via email), “They email[ed] us. Were cancelled! Getting a full refund! Aloha.”

We’ll have to take Benioff’s word for all of this, because Oracle can’t be reached for comment. Benioff followed with a series of tweets, one after another, all reminding people to come to his alternate off-site event. [Update: An Oracle spokeswoman said via email that “overwhelming attendance” forced Oracle to move Benioff’s session up to 8:00 a.m.]

Last year, Benioff used his Oracle OpenWorld keynote to counter Ellison’s contention that (which runs on Oracle technology) was not really all that cloud-like. Benioff returned fire but agreed with Ellison that people should beware of false clouds.

He also took aim at Oracle’s then newly announced Exalogic “cloud-in-a-box” appliance.

“Clouds are not in a box taller than me! They never were in a box and they never will be in a box,” he said.

One thing for sure: Benioff’s event on Wednesday will be standing room only.

Benioff’s 2010 Oracle OpenWorld keynote is viewable here.