For the past week, we’ve been hearing a rumour that Oracle has lost its top North American sales guy, Tony Fernicola, to Salesforce.com. The news has just been confirmed to us by Salesforce.com.
Wall Street analyst Pat Walravens, Director of Technology Research for JMP Securities was first to report it.
Fernicola was a senior vice president at Oracle who had been with the company “for nearly 17 years, ran the company’s database sales effort in North America, is based in New York City, and has very deep relationships with New York-based financial services companies,” Walravens wrote in a research note on Tuesday.
Fernicola will be working for his old Oracle buddy, Keith Block, who left Oracle about a year ago and landed as the head of sales at Salesforce.com in June.
Walravens reiterated an “outperform” rating for Salesforce.com based on this news, equivalent to a “buy” rating.
“We view this as an excellent hire and as an example of the calibre of sales talent that we expect Keith Block, the new President and Vice Chairman of Salesforce.com, to attract to the company,” Walravens wrote.
One source close to the company told us that Fernicola will not be replaced and said that Oracle has been prowling around Salesforce.com to do some poaching of its own.
Oracle has reportedly lost a lot of sales talent over the past two years. Although President Mark Hurd has reassured investors and analysts that the situation is over, sources inside Oracle have told Business Insider that it’s not.
We’re hearing rumours about three other vice president-level salespeople could vacate Oracle shortly, though we cannot confirm them yet.
“It’s a bloodbath around here,” one salesperson inside Oracle told us last week.
Top Oracle PR person Deborah Hellinger gave us this comment, “Oracle is a fantastic place to work and out of 120,000 employees, many come and some go regularly.”