A former Oracle executive has joined the software company’s arch-rival, German application vendor SAP, in a move that has surprised industry insiders.
John Wookey was in charge of Oracle’s Fusion programme, an initiative to move all of its applications onto a single middleware platform, until October 2007 when he left the company. It is rumoured that he fell out with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison over the slow progress of the Fusion project.
Wookey will now join SAP to spearhead the company’s bid to sell its software-as-a-service offerings, such as Business ByDesign, to large organisations.
The 12-month gap between Wookey’s departure from Oracle and his joining SAP would suggest that his contract with the former stipulated a period of ‘gardening leave’. However, a report in the Financial Times suggests that there was no such clause in Wookey’s case.
But it is unlikely that Wookey was only just appointed. Last month, an internal memo from SAP’s executive team outlined the company’s cost containment measures in advance of an anticipated drop in corporate IT spending, which include a headcount freeze. It also said that the company itself would be freezing its own IT spending – a move that SAP must surely hope its customers do not imitate.
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