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Oracle 'HP-ization' Continues: Oracle Names Ex-HP Exec As Channel Chief

The former head of HP's Americas enterprise business is the new channel chief at archrival Oracle where he joins Mark Hurd and Gary Koopman in what one VAR called the 'HP-ization' of Oracle.

Oracle on Tuesday said Rich Geraffo has signed on as senior vice president for Oracle's worldwide alliances and channels.

Geraffo, who most recently served as senior vice president and managing director of the Americas enterprise business for arch-rival HP, is taking over the channel chief role most recently held by Judson Althoff, who in March left the company to join Microsoft.

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Geraffo helps show how much influence Oracle Co-president Mark Hurd, who until late 2010 was CEO of HP, has, said Rhos Dyke, executive vice president at Cloud Creek Systems, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime Oracle partner.

In addition to Geraffo, the Oracle channel team includes ex-HP execs Thomas LaRocca, senior vice president of North America alliances and channels at Oracle, and Gary Koopman, group vice president of alliances and channels for North America sales, Dyke said.

"The brain trust is all ex-HP, all within 18 months," he said. "It's the 'HP-ization' of the Oracle channel. Hurd is bringing in lieutenants he knew at HP."

LaRocca had been handling Oracle's worldwide channel duties after Althoff left but really appeared to be more interest in focusing on North America, Dyke said.

"I love LaRocca, love Koopman," he said. "If Oracle is bringing more muscle like that in, that's a big plus for the channel."

An HP spokesperson confirmed via email that Geraffo had left HP and wrote that as of Tuesday no replacement had been named.

However, a source close to HP said there was no love lost between HP and Geraffo given the performance of HP's Enterprise Group business.

HP CEO Meg Whitman in August told analysts that a third fiscal quarter 8-percent drop in HP's Enterprise Group business led HP to forecast no sales growth for the next fiscal year.

Geraffo brings a long channel pedigree to Oracle. Prior to working at HP, he held channel and other roles at VMware.

Oracle did not make Geraffo or any other Oracle executives available to talk more about Geraffo's new role at Oracle.

However, in a statement, Hurd said, "Rich Geraffo's industry expertise and leadership experience will be instrumental in driving new growth for Oracle and our partners. We are thrilled he has chosen to join Oracle. Oracle PartnerNetwork is an incredibly valuable part of our business and I am confident that Rich will be able to cultivate our partner community and help them capitalize on new opportunities with Oracle."


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