Oracle has filled the void at the top of its channel organisation after president Mark Hurd raided his previous employer HP by sweet-talking its Americas enterprise boss Rich Geraffo into jumping ship.
The position lay vacant ever since well-respected channel figure and Oracle veteran Judson Althoff upped sticks in March for Microsoft's North America sales and marketing unit.
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As revealed by El Chan back in the summer, the total available market for Oracle distributors in Blighty – Arrow ECS and Avnet – had shrunk by more than half in the last year to $150m.
Partners claimed that with Althoff, an influential channel chief, out of the way, the direct sales culture at Oracle was riding roughshod over the partner network.
So against this backdrop, Geraffo will have his hands full as he steps into the office of senior veep for worldwide alliances and channel at a company known for its direct sales DNA.
President Hurd – who left HP in rather embarrassing circumstances in 2010 – said his new general will be responsible for the development and execution of partner sales programmes.
Some 25,000 companies are part of Oracle's partner network, which is dwarfed by HP's base, but Geraffo already seems to be sipping the corporate kool-aid.
"Oracle has one of the most extensive and enviable partner communities in the industry," he said.
It is also one of the most put-upon channels (aside, maybe, from Apple) but maybe Geraffo can redefine Oracle's definition of partnership. ®