Business software maker Oracle today tapped former Microsoft executive Gregory B. Maffei to be its new president and chief financial officer.

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REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. — Business software maker Oracle today tapped former Microsoft executive Gregory B. Maffei to be its new president and chief financial officer.

While at Microsoft from 1993 to 2000, Maffei worked closely with co-founder Bill Gates and current CEO Steve Ballmer. At Oracle, he will face yet another software titan in CEO Larry Ellison, who has a reputation for having a strong ego and mercurial personality.

Among Maffei’s biggest challenges will likely be the continuing integration of PeopleSoft, which Oracle acquired this year for $10.6 billion. Oracle has promised the deal will raise its annual profit by at least $400 million in the fiscal year ending May 2006.

Maffei, 45, joins Safra Catz and Charles Phillips in the role of president, and the company said he will be responsible for its legal department, human resources, manufacturing and distribution, and global real estate.

He will take over as CFO next month, replacing Catz, who was filling the position on an interim basis after Harry You resigned in March to become CEO of the consulting firm BearingPoint Inc.

Oracle’s acquisition binge is expected to continue as the industry consolidates, and Maffei will find himself in familiar territory, said analyst Trip Chowdhry of FTN Midwest Research.

“That is exactly what Maffei oversaw when he was at Microsoft,” he said. “He was part of a team that transformed Microsoft from a desktop operating system company to desktop applications company to an Internet applications company — all through strategic mergers and acquisitions.”

Maffei comes to Oracle from broadband company 360networks, where he served as chairman and CEO.

He was CFO of Microsoft from July 1997 to January 2000, leaving six months after the company announced the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its accounting practices. Microsoft settled with the SEC in 2002, promising to refrain from using improper procedures.

From 1999 to February 2002, Maffei also served as chairman of the travel Web site Expedia, which Microsoft had founded in 1995 and took public in 1999.

“Greg is an exceptional executive with a wealth of experience in the software and telecommunications industries,” Ellison said in a statement.