What's Up With Ingres?


Trash talk gives way to stealth departures.


Does anyone else find it odd that Dave Dargo disclosed (if you can call it that) his exit from Ingres in the eighth graph of an eight-graph blog item posted the day before Martin Luther King Day weekend?

Dargo was senior vice president of strategy and CTO for the open-source database company spun out of CA. He is sequeing into an advisory role, according to his post.

But there's more to it than that.

Disclosing uncomfortable information just before a long weekend is a classic PR ploy to hide bad newsor dampen its impact. Compaq was infamous for dropping bad earnings (or other) bombs late Fridays before long weekends. A Microsoft channel chief leaves? It posts the press release the Friday before Memorial Day.

When Dargo and a other Oracle vets joined Ingres over the past two years, there was a lot trash talk about Oracle and MySQL, et. al. being goners.

In late October, Dargo blogs "B@#$@t!" over Oracle's beat-Red Hat-at-its-own-support news. He's no shrinking violet.

Yet when he leaves barely four months later, there's nary an official peep. Even his company bio goes poof in the night. This near-silent exit smacks of the kind of subterfuge the Baltimore Colts used when they snuck out of town in the dead of night.

It now seems that Burlingame, Calif.-based Ingres has something to hide. Dargo ain't the only refugee. Jim Finn, the corp comms guyalso an Oracle vet: Gone. Evan Quinn, the former Oracle analyst relations (AR) person who became Ingres AR guy? Gonzo. The latter two went to Avaya.

These exits have prompted some--including database competitors--to wonder aloud if Ingres is having trouble with funding. They remember that trash talk.

An Ingres spokeswoman said there are no other top-level departures to speak of, but such comings and goings are business as usual.

"As with any start up, people come and go. Dave's a bit different as he is transitioning back into an advisory role and will continue to work with Ingres. Thus his blog is what is blog is," she said via e-mail.

She points to Ingres CFO's blog as proof that the company is doing great. The private company discloses no numbers.

One thing to remember: Burying pertinent business information in blog posts may fool some people. But it also makes others more curious than if the disclosure was made on the up-and-up.