Channel Marker

Mar 5 2008   9:38PM GMT

Oracle gets new worldwide channel chief in Althoff

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Big channel changes atop Oracle.

Doug Kennedy is leaving the database-and-biz-apps giant and Judson Althoff will replace him as Oracle’s global channel chief, several sources confirmed.

Update: Oracle’s Kennedy takes off for Microsoft.

The news went out internally Wednesday in an email from Oracle prez Charles Phillips.

That succession may be settled but it also leaves one key  roll —  North Americas channel chief  — unfilled. Rauline Ochs left that post to join Safeco late last year. Some well-placed Oracle sources expected Althoff to take on Ochs role.

Althoff has been with Oracle for nearly a decade, spearheading its relationship with Dell, HP, CDW, and distributors Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Some partners say that his rapport with Dell and CDW (both viewed as near-demons by VAR partners) may make him an odd backer for value-added partners.

Others say that Althoff’s direct line to Phillips could actually help such partners gain leverage in their dealings with the vendor. Ochs had reported to Keith Block, the head of North American sales. Oracle has a history of tense vendor-partner relationships and now that it has bought tens of billions of dollars worth of business apps expertise, partners want to see further improvement in channel relationships.

“If he’s been working with Ingram and Tech Data, he gets the VAR partner role now,” said one long-time Oracle partner.

One contendor to replace Ochs as senior vice president of North America  alliances and channels, is Tyler Prince, who is now vice president of that same group, said an Oracle source.

One longtime Oracle partner, apprised of Kennedy’s departure, was bemused. “I find it curious that within such a short time span both the worldwide and the North American channel execs have left,” he noted.

More background on Ochs and Kennedy here.

Barbara Darrow can be reached at bdarrow@techtarget.com.

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