Longtime EMC, VMware Storage Exec Chuck Hollis Jumps To Oracle

Chuck Hollis

Chuck Hollis, a longtime EMC storage executive who has spent the past two years at VMware, has left the company to take a position at Oracle, CRN has learned.

While his new title isn't known, Hollis' new role will be focused on building Oracle's cloud business, three sources familiar with the matter told CRN Friday.

[UPDATE: Hollis, in a blog post Saturday, confirmed that he's joining Oracle on Aug. 24. He's taking an as-yet unspecified role in the vendor's converged infrastructure group, reporting to former EMC colleague Dave Donatelli, who joined in March.]

Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif., has also hired at least half a dozen top EMC salespeople in recent weeks, said the sources, who didn't want to be named.

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Jamie Shepard, regional and health systems senior vice president at Lumenate, a Dallas-based EMC and VMware partner, said Oracle hired one of his company's sales reps in mid-July. "They're paying through the nose for the EMC sales reps," Shepard said of Oracle.

[Related: 8 Ways VMware Thinks It's Better Than Nutanix, Every Other Hyper-Converged Vendor]

Neither Oracle, VMware nor EMC were immediately available for comment. Hollis also couldn't be reached for comment.

Hollis joined VMware in August 2013 as chief strategist of storage and availability. Previously, Hollis spent 19 years at EMC, where he was CTO of global marketing.

Hollis in recent months has set his sights on Nutanix, the hyper-converged infrastructure startup that is challenging VMware in the data center market. In a series of blog posts, Hollis has cast doubt on the performance of Nutanix's technology and its ability to support customers, among other issues.

Oracle was a relative latecomer to the cloud market and is in the midst of transitioning from on premise software sales to cloud recurring revenue. So far, Oracle says the transition is going smoothly.

On Oracle's fourth quarter earnings in June, co-CEO Mark Hurd said cloud business is now on a $2.3 billion annual run rate. Oracle reported $579 million in cloud revenue during the quarter, and co-CEO Safra Catz said the vendor "dramatically overachieved" compared to its own internal expectations.

For Oracle, bringing in executive and sales talent from EMC and VMware is a strategic move to boost its profile in the infrastructure business, Shepard said.

"Oracle is an app company, and people buy Oracle apps. The IT guy has been left out," Shepard said. "Now Oracle wants customers to burst out to the Oracle Cloud, so they're going after infrastructure [sales and marketing talent]."

Shepard described Oracle's hiring of Hollis as "a brilliant move" on the vendor's part. "He really knows his stuff," he said. "He'll be talking to the same people who have followed him at VMware for years."