Monday, May 10, 2021

Salesforce Hires Former Oracle Exec Keith Block

Salesforce has named Keith Block, who formerly served as an executive vice president at Oracle, to be its new president and vice chairman of the board. Block left Oracle last year after news surfaced of disparaging comments he had made about Oracle’s Mark Hurd and about Sun Microsystems products.

Patrick Hoge of the San Francisco Business Times reported, “Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) has appointed Keith Block, a 26-year Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) veteran, to the position of president and vice chairman and to the company’s board of directors. In his most recent role as Oracle’s executive vice president of North America sales and consulting, Block led an 11,000-person team and built a multi-billion-dollar sales business unit that achieved record revenue growth and margin expansion over 10 years, Salesforce said in a press release.”

Computerworld’s John Ribeiro added, “He will lead the enterprise cloud computing company’s global sales, customer support and consulting services businesses, and has also been appointed to the company’s board.”

InformationWeek’s Doug Henschen noted, “Block’s departure from Oracle wasn’t pretty. By all accounts Block was forced out after derogatory remarks surfaced in internal messages. Those remarks were publicly shared in the court case with HP tied to Oracle’s decision to stop making software for Itanium-chip-based servers (a decision subsequently reversed by court order). In one internal instant message shared as evidence during the trial, Block commented that Oracle ‘bought a dog’ when it acquired Sun Microsystems. In another exchange, Block slighted Oracle president Mark Hurd for generating ‘lots of noise, not much results’ and for not traveling outside the U.S. often enough.”

Bloomberg’s Aaron Ricadela observed, “Salesforce has been expanding into applications for online marketing and human resources, and hiring veterans of the enterprise-software industry to help fuel growth. Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff hired former Oracle and SAP AG (SAP) engineering executive John Wookey in 2011. This week, Salesforce agreed to acquire ExactTarget Inc. (ET) for $2.5 billion to extend a push into online-marketing tools.”

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