Dave Donatelli Gets New Role At Oracle: Converged Infrastructure, Hybrid Cloud

Dave Donatelli

Oracle is adding wood behind its hardware and engineered systems arrow with the appointment of a high-profile former Hewlett-Packard executive to head its infrastructure business.

David Donatelli, who left HP in March to join Oracle in what was then an unknown role, is as of Thursday Oracle's new executive vice president of converged infrastructure.

In that role, which an Oracle spokesperson confirmed to CRN to be a new one within the company, Donatelli is taking responsibility for Oracle's servers, storage, networking and tape products, as well as its engineered systems.

[Related: Report: Former HP Enterprise Exec Donatelli Rejoins Ex-Boss Hurd At Oracle]

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Donatelli, who reports directly to Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, will also focus on solutions bringing the Redwood City, Calif.-based company's hardware into customer hybrid cloud environments.

Oracle on Wednesday said its fiscal fourth quarter 2016 cloud revenue reached $579 million. That included more than 200 percent growth in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) bookings, with revenue for the quarter actually $125 million higher than Oracle's own internal forecast.

In March, Donatelli left Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, where he served as executive vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Group, to join Oracle.

Donatelli in 2009 joined HP, originally as that company's executive vice president for enterprise servers, storage and networking. He left Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC to join HP, resulting in a lawsuit between the two that kept Donatelli from working with HP's storage business for his first year at that company. Donatelli in 2013 was reassigned to work with venture capital companies to identify early-stage companies that could work with HP's technology.

Rich Baldwin, chief information officer and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and longtime HP partner, said that in his new role, Donatelli will not likely have much impact on Oracle's competitiveness with HP.

"I don't very often compete with Oracle," Baldwin told CRN. "And I don't think Oracle customers particularly like Oracle hardware. They're often forced to buy it because of the price benefits when purchasing it with Oracle software."

Oracle hardware on its own uses pretty much the same components as hardware from all the major vendors, Baldwin said. "I believe there are other architectures out there that are significantly better than Oracle's," he said. "Oracle has nothing special in its hardware. Everybody has the same raw materials."

When Donatelli first joined HP, he seemed open to listening to channel partner concerns, Baldwin said. "But after the newness wore off, so did the openness," he said.

Oracle was unable to provide more information on Donatelli's new position other than to confirm that it was a new role at the company.

However, in a statement, Hurd said, "David joins Oracle at a pivotal time, when we are the only major hardware company in the industry experiencing growth. I can think of no one more qualified to continue to accelerate our growth, differentiate our offerings, and further cement the leadership of Oracle's global hardware business."

Donatelli, also in a statement, said that joining Oracle was an easy decision.

"In an industry where our hardware competitors are in chaos, Oracle stands alone with our strategy to engineer all layers of the software and hardware stack to work together seamlessly whether on premise or in the Oracle Cloud. No one else in the industry can do this and I'm excited to be a part of it," Donatelli said in the statement.