Oracle applications chief to step down?

5 January 2005 Oracle is planning to replace the longstanding head of its applications software division when its acquisition of rival applications vendor PeopleSoft is finalised, according widespread reports.

Oracle veteran Ron Wohl, who as executive vice president for applications development has led the applications division for more than a decade, will be replaced by John Wookey, an Oracle senior vice president previously responsible for finance software and CRM applications, say reports quoting sources within the company.

Wookey’s appointment as the head of the newly combined Oracle and PeopleSoft applications business is expected to be confirmed on 26 January when Oracle will outline its integration plans for PeopleSoft. Wohl, meanwhile, will continue with the company in another role, say the sources.

Wohl has been a controversial leader of the applications division. On several occasions during the 1990s when Oracle’s applications business was faltering, Wohl faced calls for his resignation from senior colleagues, including the then-president Ray Lane. But Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who was deeply involved in the development of the company’s E-business Suite, consistently defended Wohl’s position.

An Oracle spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny any forthcoming management changes.

Aside from Wohl’s move, reports also suggest that Oracle’s head of its global support services, Michael Rocha, is leaving the company after fifteen years. Tipped as his successor, Jurgen Rottler has been at Oracle since September overseeing the on-demand business unit. Before the move, Rottler was senior vice president of Hewlett-Packard’s Public Sector, Health and Education division.

The management changes at the top of Oracle will play a crucial role in the merger of the two companies. Yesterday, Oracle said that as part of its $10.3 billion offer, 90% of PeopleSoft’s stockholders had so far tendered their shares.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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