Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Oracle Taps Adrian Jones to Head Asian Operations (Read the Memo)

adrianjones-featureSoftware giant Oracle named Adrian Jones to head its operations in Asia. The move was announced in an internal email from Oracle president Mark Hurd, obtained by AllThingsD.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Jones (pictured) is a former Hewlett-Packard exec who was sued by that company in 2011. HP had alleged that Jones stole trade secrets and shared them with Oracle. The suit dates back to one of the more rancorous periods in the relationship between those companies, and the aftermath of the days when Hurd, who was for five years the CEO of HP, joined Oracle following his surprise resignation in 2010. (That situation, you’ll recall, spurred its own legal merry-go-round.)

In a lawsuit filed in the California Superior Court in Santa Clara County, HP had accused Jones of copying sensitive files concerning its strategic and financial plans, plus other information, to a USB drive, and not returning them when he resigned from the company. Among other things, lawyers for HP had sought to examine every electronic device Jones owned, including phones and iPads belonging to his girlfriend.

It later turned out that the copying of the files in question didn’t take place at the time that HP originally said it did, but during a period when the computer Jones used was in the hands of HP’s corporate security office. Talk about awkward.

Since then, the case has been forgotten. HP was eventually forced to withdraw the case against Jones entirely, according to people familiar with how it all turned out. Neither HP nor Oracle would confirm that, however. Entries in the case-record file on the court’s website make vague mentions of a dismissal that occurred on July 30, 2012.

The case against Jones was one of many HP filed during a period when Michael Holston was its general counsel. Remembered as a key aide to Hurd during the years he was running HP, Holston remained HP’s general counsel during the 11-month tenure of former CEO Léo Apotheker, but was among the first members of HP’s executive council to leave the company after Meg Whitman became CEO.

Anyway, enough with the legal footnotes. Here’s the memo announcing Jones’ promotion:

From: Mark Hurd
Date: July 24, 2013, 2:00:02 AM PDT
To: Oracle Asia Pacific Sales

The business across Asia Pacific represents a significant opportunity for Oracle. We continue to invest in this region and it is poised for growth.

I am pleased to announce Adrian Jones to the position of General Manager and Senior Vice President, Oracle Asia Pacific. Adrian will lead the region for hardware and software, and be responsible for accelerating market share, revenue, and margin growth.

Adrian has strengthened our Systems business and has held senior leadership positions across the IT industry for more than 20 years. Before joining Oracle, he held the position of Senior Vice President of Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking for HP Asia Pacific and Japan. He has in-depth knowledge of these markets.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Steve Au Yeung for his contributions to Oracle. Steve is leaving Oracle, and we thank him for his five years of leadership and wish him the best in the future.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik