Channel Marker

Mar 6 2008   5:33PM GMT

Oracle’s Kennedy heads to Microsoft

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Ouch.

Not only is Oracle’s worldwide channel chief flying the coop, he’s swooping into the nest of the enemy.

Doug Kennedy has taken an executive position at the Redmond, Wash. software giant, several sources close to Oracle have confirmed.

He will be working in Microsoft’s business-applications push, one source said. [Friday morning update: Kennedy has taken a General Manager position within Microsoft's applications group, a well-placed source said. Microsoft has not returned calls for comment. An Oracle spokeswoman confirmed Kennedy's exit but said she was unaware of his plans.]

In some ways, timing could not be better from Redmond’s point of view: Microsoft Convergence, the annual Microsoft Business Solutions user conference, kicks off next Tuesday in Orlando. Microsoft will use the show to play up its CRM Live push and will trot out Steve Ballmer and Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions for the assembled masses of MBS partners and customers.

In many ways luring Kennedy is a great move for Microsoft and logistically it’s a no-brainer for Kennedy himself, who lives in the Seattle area. Kennedy was senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels and reported directly to Oracle president Charles Phillips.

That Kennedy left just months after his North Americas counterpart Rauline Ochs exited tweaked some Oracle partners. Ochs, however, went to Safeco, a large and long-time Oracle customer whereas Kennedy crossed enemy lines.

One insider said the executive suite at Oracle is humming. “There’s talk about a non-compete. They’re p@#$@d,” this source said.

Kennedy who spent 16 years at Oracle, witnessed first hand the vendor’s multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar applications arms race during which it bought PeopleSoft (which had just bought J.D. Edwards); Siebel Systems, Retek, i-Flex and other companies.

Fasten your seatbelts. This could get bumpy.

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

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