What's Up With Ingres?

Trash talk gives way to stealth departures.

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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.

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