Obligatory disclosure: I have worked for MySQL AB/Sun Microsystems & Percona (I never worked for Oracle). I'm now independent, and have no shares/remaining stake-holdings in any. I do however acknowledge that I have a stake holding in MySQL succeeding in general, as I have invested time in a specific skill-set.
It used to upset me how features were decided at MySQL... How was it decided that partitioning was a critical feature for 5.1, but backup totally missed the radar?
There seemed to be a bunch of low hanging fruit (years old bugs) that were not being addressed, and I was always cynical that unless it could check off a box on a features grid, it would never be handled.
There was a bit of talk, but no indication it was any better under Sun's management. However, now that Oracle is in control, several years old bugs are being addressed, performance has become a feature, and I actually find really compelling reasons to upgrade to 5.5 and 5.6.
I feel awkward having to defend one of the world's biggest software companies, but they're really not getting enough praise. Instead everyone is making claims they are somehow screwing the project. Most of the projects they 'screwed' made no commercial sense to them... however they make a non trivial amount of money on OEM licenses and subscriptions/professional services for MySQL.