The recent departures of well-respected Oracle sales executives Adrian Jones and Matt Mills has partners wondering who’s going to fight for their interests and prevent the company's direct sales teams from snatching deals.
Jones, who was general manager and senior vice president of Oracle's Asia Pacific business, left in June to take the same role at Symantec. He joined Oracle in 2011 from Hewlett-Packard, coming over just a few months after his former boss Mark Hurd was appointed president.
It's not clear why Jones left Oracle, and he wasn't immediately available for comment.
Mills, the 21-year Oracle sales executive who resigned last week, left because Hurd turned down his request for greater control over the vendor's application business, sources familiar with the matter told CRN on Thursday.
As Oracle's senior vice president of North America sales, Mills was in charge of the vendor's technology, hardware and public sector markets in the U.S. and Canada. He'd held that role since former North America sales chief Keith Block was shown the door in June 2012.
Block was in charge of Oracle's entire North America sales organization, including its applications business. But after he left, Hurd appointed Joanne Olsen, senior vice president of cloud services, to oversee Oracle's applications.
Mills was never happy with this arrangement because he wanted control over the apps business, sources said.
"He felt like he was hamstrung selling the database products. On the hardware side, he inherited all the non-Oracle, x86 products. It was a tough hand," one source told CRN.
Mills asked Hurd for control over Olsen's applications business at the end of Oracle's fiscal year in June. But while Mills' unit delivered solid results in the vendor's first two fiscal quarters, the last two were not up to par, so Hurd denied his request, sources said.
"I think [Mills] was at the point where he wasn't having fun running technology and hardware anymore," one source said.
Oracle declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Jones' and Mills' departures, or to name the executives Oracle has picked to replace them.
Oracle has seen a significant amount of turnover in senior sales management recently, including Anthony Fernicola, Judson Althoff, Mitch Breen, Patrick Dennis and Stephen Boyle, who've all left for positions at other enterprise vendors.
While Jones wasn’t in a partner-facing role at Oracle, he was HP's Americas channel chief during his time there. HP partners have told CRN previously that one of Jones' strengths as channel chief was his tight relationship with Hurd and the senior HP executive team.
Mills, meanwhile, has been a longtime advocate for the channel at Oracle. Sources said he has been trying to increase integration between Oracle's field sales teams and its partners. In some cases, Mills has personally intervened to keep Oracle sales reps from poaching channel deals, sources said.
PUBLISHED AUG. 14, 2014