Oracle North American Sales Chief Matt Mills Departs After 21 Years


Matt Mills
Matthew Mills

Matthew Mills, senior vice president of North America sales at Oracle and a 21-year company veteran, resigned on Friday, sources familiar with the matter told CRN today.

Mills oversees the technology, hardware and public sector markets in the U.S. and Canada, according to his profile on Oracle's website. He'd been in this role since Keith Block, the executive who previously held this role, was let go in 2012 after disparaging emails he wrote about Oracle management surfaced during lawsuit proceedings.

Sources said it is unclear why Mills left or where he'll be going next. Mills couldn't be reached for comment. Oracle declined comment.

[Related: Oracle Declares War On Cloud Market, But Partners Still Waiting For Their Call-Up]

Mills is widely regarded in the Oracle channel as an executive who understands how to work with partners, sources told CRN.

Sources said Mills has been working to improve integration between Oracle's channel and field sales and reduce conflict between the two camps. In some cases, Mills has prevented channel deals from being taken direct by Oracle reps, sources said.

Oracle has seen a significant amount of turnover in senior sales management in the past couple of years, which is why partners aren't overly surprised to see him go.

In addition to Block, Oracle has seen high-profile executives Anthony Fernicola, Judson Althoff, Mitch Breen, Patrick Dennis and Stephen Boyle depart for positions at other enterprise vendors.

Oracle has hired a number of ex-Hewlett-Packard channel executives in an effort to improve its channel relationships, including Tom LaRocca, Gary Koopman and Rich Geraffo.

"We're going to continue to get more channel-centric," LaRocca, senior vice president of North American channels and alliances at Oracle, said in March at the XChange Solution Provider conference in Los Angeles.

But when Breen left Oracle in January after eight months at the company, sources told CRN there was a "civil war" going on between Oracle's internal software and hardware sales teams fighting for customers -- and against channel partners.

One partner told CRN Oracle's cloud strategy, as currently constituted, doesn't seem to offer much of a role for partners. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said in June the vendor had "dramatically expanded" its sales force to go after cloud customers.

"Q1 is looking ugly, and I have concerns about Oracle's cloud strategy. It seems like they're pretty late to the PaaS and IaaS game," said the partner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

PUBLISHED AUG. 13, 2014