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Lane change

Ray Lane always said that "no one should run a company after 55.

Last summer, at 53, the CEO of U.S. software giant Oracle Corp. got the jump on his own advice and quit to become a general partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Now Lane appears to be lowering the bar for retirement yet again. Last month, at a Goldman Sachs technology investment conference in La Quinta, California, he dismissed the post-tech bubble prospects of 40-year-olds. According to Lane, this "disintermediated generation" lacks the zealous determination of younger Internet revolutionaries to build "more virtual, flat and global" organizations. "As for the culture of business, the younger generation will change things totally," proclaimed the tech executive. The audience, which included quite a few 40-ish institutional investors, seemed less than thrilled by Lane's prediction.