Former HP Channel Chief Takes Senior Executive Post At Oracle

Former Hewlett-Packard Americas channel chief Adrian Jones is taking on the job of senior vice president of Asia Pacific/Japan at Oracle, according to sources.

Jones started in his new job Monday. In taking on the Oracle post Jones is joining his old boss, former HP CEO Mark Hurd, who was hired as Oracle president last September.

An Oracle spokeswoman said the company would not comment on the report.

Jones, who was serving as senior vice president of Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking for HP Asia Pacific, left the company last month. HP said in a statement at the time that Jones had "made a personal decision to leave HP to spend more time with his family and pursuer new opportunities."

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Jones, a one-time Everything Channel Channel Executive of the Year, drove a channel renaissance at HP during his tenure as HP Americas channel chief from March 2007 to October 2009.

Partners say one of Jones' strengths as channel chief was his tight relationship with Hurd and the senior HP executive team. Jones, in fact, drove an unprecedented level of sales engagement between HP solution providers, Hurd and the executives running HP's business units. Now partners are wondering if his appointment signals a more aggressive channel push from Oracle.

Jones' appointment may signal that Oracle is becoming more channel focused, said Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, Green Bay, Wis., who considers Jones a friend. "Oracle can use his connections and contacts to make some changes," he said. "Bringing Jones in may be an indication of a different strategy."

That said, Chernick said it does not change Camera Corner Connecting Point's business strategy. The solution provider, one of HP's top SMB partners and a member of HP's SMB Partner Council, remains loyal to HP. "I have HP tattooed on my forehead," he said. "Today it is a friend of mine that took another job. I wish him the most success. I hope his family is safe and sound in Japan."

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John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations for Redmond, Wash.-based Denali Advanced Integration, one of HP's top national enterprise partners, said he was glad to see Jones land at a strong company like Oracle. "At HP, Adrian was Mr. Channel. He was the father of the HP executive account engagement strategy. He was directly responsible for bringing Mark Hurd here to Denali two years in a row. He was a mover, a shaker and a doer, and I'm glad he has landed at a great company."

Hurd and Jones teamed to implement a broad sweeping channel account engagement strategy that put Hurd and his top lieutenants in the field selling side by side with HP partners. Hurd himself conducted more than 50 solution provider roundtables in the course of a year that put him side by side with partners in front of hundreds of customers.

Convery sees Jones and other channel management stalwarts that have moved on to software companies, including former HP channel chief Kevin Gilroy who is now senior vice president, Ecosystem and Channels, for SAP North America, aggressively embracing partners to drive solutions into the market. "These guys understand how important the channel is in driving growth and expanding reach," Convery said. "They also understand the importance of partner programs. These guys are not rookies. They are channel experts."

While Oracle and HP were long-time allies, the two are increasingly competing against each other following Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems and its hardware operations last year. The two companies engaged in some acrimonious exchanges last fall when HP took legal steps opposing Hurd's appointment as Oracle president and Oracle threatened to drag new HP CEO Leo Apotheker into court to testify in Oracle's lawsuit against SAP.