Political cover?

Oracle names former CIA director Leon Panetta to its board

Leon Panetta, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA director under President Obama, is now an Oracle director.

Panetta served as defense secretary from 2011 to 2013 and led the CIA from 2009 to 2011. Panetta also served in the Clinton administration as chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget. And he was a congressman to California’s 16th district from 1977 to 1993. The man obviously has connections.

The appointment of a former CIA chief may raise eyebrows among the data privacy advocates who squealed at  Oracle’ s decision to purchase data aggregator Datalogix.

The move, announced Monday, is not the first time Oracle has put a political bigwig on its board. In November 2000, the vendor named Joe Lockhart, President Clinton’s former press secretary, as a director. Lockhart resigned six months later, citing the long Washington, D.C.-to-Northern California commute.  Oracle’s got to hope this appointment works out better, but at least Panetta is a native Californian.

[company]Oracle[/company] isn’t alone in snagging political heavyweights. In April, Dropbox named Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state under George W. Bush, as a director — a decision that also raised a bit of a ruckus.