Salesforce's Oracle Hiring Spree Continues As 17-Year Vet Fernicola Joins Ranks


Salesforce.com, whose staff already includes tons of former Oracle employees, said Wednesday that longtime Oracle executive Anthony Fernicola has joined as president of global enterprise sales.

Fernicola was senior vice president at Oracle and ran its North America Technology Organization (NATO), one of the vendor's biggest cash cows. During his 17-year career at Oracle, he has also led its technology licensing, engineered systems and financial services businesses.

Fernicola will report to Keith Block, the 26-year Oracle executive who joined Salesforce.com in July as president and vice chairman in charge of global sales, customer support and consulting services.

[Related: EMC Hires Away Execs From Microsoft, Oracle For Isilon Unit]

Block left Oracle in 2012 after instant messages he wrote disparaging Oracle's management came to light in the HP-Oracle Itanium lawsuit.

One Oracle partner told CRN that neither Block nor Fernicola seemed to care much about the channel. He described Fernicola's departure as "no great loss." A Salesforce.com representative declined to comment on the Oracle partner's assertion.

Oracle is now working more closely with partners than it has in the past, and that effort has been helped along by the hiring of ex-HP executives like Mark Hurd, Tom LaRocca and Gary Koopman, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak about company matters.

Matt Mills, who replaced Block as senior vice president of North America sales, is much more willing to work with partners than Block, and has even protected channel deals from being taken direct by Oracle reps, the source told CRN.

Last June, Oracle reduced the number of "named accounts" it reserves for its direct sales force and opened up these accounts to channel partners.

Salesforce.com is building its sales chops to go after rival Oracle and other enterprise players. And it's also bringing in executives that are well-liked in the Oracle channel, the source told CRN.

Examples include David Klebba, a 10-year Oracle vet who joined Salesforce.com in September as senior vice president of worldwide business development; and Steve Moroski, another 10-year Oracle vet who joined Salesforce.com in May as New York City area vice president.

Moroski, in particular is "a rising star who gets things done" when it comes to working with the channel, said the Oracle partner.

Despite their rivalry, Oracle and Salesforce.com unveiled a partnership in June that surprised some industry watchers with its depth.

Salesforce.com will be integrating its CRM with some of Oracle's cloud apps while also standardizing its operations on Oracle's database software, Linux operating system, Java middleware and Exadata Database Machine servers.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 12, 2013