Here are 12 of the most important executives leading Oracle’s big push to take on Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in the cloud (ORCL)

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  • Oracle is known as a major enterprise IT player, but it has struggled for a bigger presence in the fast-growing cloud market which is dominated by Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
  • These 12 executives are leading Oracle’s bid to expand its reach in cloud computing.
  • They are focused on leveraging Oracle’s strengths in database, security and applications to gain a bigger piece of the cloud market.
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Oracle has been known as an enterprise tech powerhouse for more than 40 years, but the Silicon Valley giant is viewed as a minor player in what has become a critical arena of that market: the cloud.

This was underscored recently in the battle over the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud project. In affirming its decision to reject Oracle’s bid and name Microsoft and Amazon as the finalists for the $10 billion public cloud contract, the Pentagon said, “Oracle is not in the same class as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.”

Oracle is a top vendor in cloud software, but in the broader cloud market, it has struggled against rivals like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

One problem is that it’s been hard for Oracle, which was launched in 1977, to break away from the old ways of selling software to enterprises, which is involves hefty licensing agreements and maintenance fees, said analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.

“Oracle’s leadership doesn’t know the cloud,” he told Business Insider.  “The top leadership of Oracle is largely living in the 1980s from the standpoint of the business model, and that model doesn’t appear to work for cloud businesses.”  

That’s probably a key reason why the company founded by billionaire Larry Ellison, who is now the company’s chief technology officer, has turned to some outsiders — including from rivals that now dominate the cloud, like Amazon and Microsoft — in its bid for a bigger presence in the cloud.

This push is so critical for the company that many of these executives on this list — which is based on input from analysts, news coverage of the company and from Oracle itself — report to Ellison himself.

Here are 12 executives leading Oracle’s cloud offensive:

Edward Screven has been with Oracle since 1986 and is chief corporate architect

Title: Chief Corporate Architect

Reports to: Founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison

Edward Screven, who joined Oracle in 1986, has seen the company navigate the major tech waves of the past 30 years. Today, that wave is the cloud, a trend that critics say Oracle was late to embrace, and which is now dominated by Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

“We definitely started after Amazon,” he told Business Insider in an interview in May. “The bad news is they have market share. The good news is we get to learn a lot.”

Oracle also has a lot going for it, he says. Founded in 1977, the Silicon Valley company is an enterprise IT powerhouse whose database and business applications technologies are used by hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the world.

Screven says Oracle is building a cloud infrastructure that offers more security and more sophisticated and efficient ways to manage data.

“We have hundreds of thousands of customers that store their most important data in Oracle databases,” Screven, who reports to Oracle founder and chief technology officer Larry Ellison, said. “We could do a far better job for them than any other cloud provider. We are doing a far better job for them.”

Amazon may dominate the cloud today, but Oracle is well-positioned to catch up, Screven suggested.

“Mindshare, that may be their biggest asset,” he said. “But there is no technology they have that is concerning to me at all.”

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group points to a downside to Screven’s standing as an Oracle veteran: “Screven isn’t a cloud guy, he is an Oracle guy, and when you are driving disruption, you need a subject matter expert for that disruption. Edward is a loyalist instead, and while that makes sense from a command and control perspective, given Oracle’s leadership doesn’t know the cloud either, this will work against the success of the effort. “

Steve Daheb left Citrix to lead Oracle’s cloud marketing strategy

Title: Senior Vice President, Cloud Go-to-Market

Reports to: Founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison

Changing the perception that Oracle is a minor player in the cloud is one of the tech giant’s major problems. And this is where Steve Daheb comes in.

Daheb joined Oracle in 2015 after serving as chief marketing officer of Citrix, one of the pioneers of the cloud, which let businesses set up computing networks on web-based platforms, instead of on-premise data centers, leading to dramatic IT cost-savings.

Daheb also saw including the unexpected rise of Amazon as the king of cloud computing. 

In the early 2000s, the tech behemoth, known for selling pretty much everything online realized it could make some extra money by money by giving businesses access to its massive, but under-utilized, computing infrastructure, hosted from its data centers. The led to Amazon Web Services, which went on to dominate the cloud market.

Daheb compares to Amazon’s ascent in the cloud to the rise of Airbnb: “Amazon had spare computing resources to rent out. It’s like, ‘Hey man, I got an extra room in the house during the summer when it’s not spike retail time. There’s nobody in there, so why don’t I put thing on AirBnb and see if anybody wants it.”

Like others on the Oracle team, he thinks the Redwood City, California-based software giant’s technology and track record working with major players and industries will eventually propel it to the top of the cloud.

“There’s a level of understanding we have, and there’s a level of empathy we have for enterprise users,” he said. “We serve the major banks. We serve transportation. We serve health care … We brought this enterprise mentality to it.”

Juergen Lindner left SAP to lead Oracle’s software-as-a-service marketing strategy

Title: Senior Vice President, Software-as-a-Service Marketing

Reports to: Dave Donatelli, Executive Vice President, Cloud Business Group

Juergen Lindner spent most of his career helping SAP outsell Oracle in the enterprise software market. He decided to join Oracle three years ago when he said he became more impressed with the Silicon Valley giant’s strategy in adapting to a major shift in the way corporations bought and used software.

SAP and Oracle dominated the market where businesses paid hefty licensing and maintenance fees for software applications that were installed in their private data centers. 

That changed with the rise of software-as-a-service when businesses accessed applications through cloud platforms and paid for software via a subscription, usually based on the number of users to whom they want to grant access. This allowed companies to cut costs dramatically.

This posed a problem for traditional software vendors like SAP and Oracle which scrambled to adapt to the new market. Lindner said it became clear to him that Oracle had a better strategy for the cloud software era. 

“Oracle has architected a very sustainable cloud infrastructure and applications strategy,” largely because the company “has been serving customers for a long time,” he told Business Insider.

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said bringing Lindner in was a smart move, saying: “There is a strong match between skillset and the job he has been selected to do.  He should be an asset to the team.” 

Juan Loaiza has been with Oracle since 1988 and is in charge of mission critical database technologies

Title: Executive Vice President, Mission Critical Database Technologies

Reports to: Founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison 

Juan Loaiza, who has been with Oracle for more than 30 years, is helping lead the company’s efforts to expand the reach of its flagship database product. 

The Oracle Autonomous Database uses machine learning to create a cloud-based automated data management platform that can quickly repair and update itself.

Loaiza compared this fairly new initiative to the development of the self-driving car. 

“It took a long time to get to a point where we are now and say, ‘The next step is a self-driving car,'” he told Business Insider. “It’s gotta be safe. It has to have seatbelts and airbags and a navigation system. All that stuff was necessary before you take it to the next stage. .. It’s similar to the database.”

A key factor, he added, is the rise of AI and machine learning. “AI was a critical component,” he said.

Don Johnson left Amazon to focus on Oracle’s cloud infrastructure

Title: Executive Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure

Reports to: Founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison

Don Johnson worked for Amazon Web Services for 10 years before joining Oracle in 2014.

He’s leading Oracle’s effort to its cloud platform and launched the company’s cloud engineering development center in Seattle, which now has thousands of engineers, according to the company.

Under Johnson’s leadership, Oracle said it is looking to open 19 new cloud data center regions by the end of this year.  Johnson also played a key role in forming a major cloud partnership between Oracle and Microsoft.

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said Johnson was at Amazon when its cloud business was growing fast. But he has doubts about Johnson’s ability to shine at Oracle.

He should know the market and technology well, but he is an Oracle outsider and likely will be overshadowed by non-experts around him that are better connected,” he told Business Insider.  “He is a great choice but likely will be unable to reach his potential given the skill set of his peers. “


T.K. Anand left Microsoft to help Oracle with analytics

Title: Senior Vice President, Analytics

Reports to: Founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison

T.K. Anand worked at Microsoft for 22 years before joining Oracle last year.

He quickly found himself assuming a bigger role in the company’s cloud strategy when he was tapped to take on the responsibilities of Thomas Kurian, the top Oracle exec who left suddenly to lead Google’s cloud business. Meanwhile, Oracle has formed a partnership with longtime rival Microsoft.

Anand reports to Larry Ellison, Oracle founder and chief technology officer, and is responsible for the company’s analytics platform.

Beth Boettcher left Accenture to help Oracle with applications consulting

Title: Senior Vice President, North America Applications Consulting

Reports to: Christopher Donato, Senior Vice President, North America Applications and Consulting

Beth Boettcher worked for 19 years at Accenture where she build the IT services company’s cloud business before joining Oracle in 2017.

She leads Oracle consulting business. Last year, she helped lead the launch of Oracle Soar, business tools to help clients migrate their applications to the cloud.

Boettcher also launched the Oracle Cloud Institute, where employees, partners and customers can get training and mentoring on Oracle’s cloud products.


Jason Williamson left Amazon to lead Oracle’s outreach to startups

Title: Vice President, Oracle for Startups

Reports to: Mamei Sun, Chief of Staff to Larry Ellison

The cloud has led to the rise of startups offering new tools and services, from security and data storage to analytics and AI. Like other major cloud players, Oracle is looking to draw those startups and entrepreneurs into its orbit.

This is where Jason Williamson comes in. Williamson’s role to make Oracle products and services more accessible to startups.

His Amazon background gives him an edge in this task. Williamson led Amazon Web Services’ private equity team before joining Oracle in 2017.

Cultivating ties with startups is also an area that founder and chief technology officer Larry Ellison is focused on, the company said. Ellison is known to host startup entrepreneurs in his home “to offer them guidance,” Oracle said.  

Evan Goldberg co-founded NetSuite which is now part of Oracle

Title: Executive Vice President, NetSuite

Reports to: Chief Executie Officer Mark Hurd

Evan Goldberg is part of the elite club of Oracle alums who went on to launch successful enterprise software companies.  (Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is the most well-known.)

Goldberg left a long career at Oracle in the late 1990s to launch NetSuite, a cloud based provider of financial and accounting management services. His co founder was another Oracle alum, Zach Nelson. Oracle founder and chief technology officer Larry Ellison was actually one of their early backers

Oracle acquired NetSuite in 2016.  NetSuite has become one of Oracle’s successful cloud software businesses, with more than 180,000 customers, according to the company.

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said he sees Goldberg as an assset to Oracle’s cloud push — if he stays. “People that are CEOs like to be CEOs, and this would suggest that he will be leaving again,” he told Business Insider. “I would expect, like the few other cloud experts, Larry’s out-of-date position regarding the cloud will drive him out. “

Steve Miranda has been with Oracle since 1992 and leads cloud applications development.

Title: Executive Vice President, Applications Product Development

Reports to: Founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison

Steve Miranda is an Oracle veteran who joined the company in 1992. He’s in charge of different aspects of the company’s cloud software business, including product development and strategy. This covers applications used for major business operations, from managing supply chains, human resources and enterprise performance management.

Rondy Ng has been with Oracle since 1990 and is helping Oracle develop enterprise planning cloud applications.

Title: Senior Vice President, ERP Applications Development

Reports to: Executive Vice President Steve Miranda

Rondy Ng leads Oracle’s initiatives in offering cloud software used by enterprises to run different parts of the business, also referred to as enterprise resource planning or ERP. This is actually a market where Oracle is considered a leading player. Gartner even named Oracle as the leading provider of ERP software to midsize enterprises. 

Rob Tarkoff worked for Adobe and EMC before joining Oracle to help lead its cloud applications business.

Title: Executive Vice President and General Manager, CX Cloud

Reports to: Executive Vice President Steve Miranda

Rob Tarkoff has years of experience with Adobe and EMC. He joined Oracle late last year to take charge of the company’s CX Cloud, which is a suite of cloud based tools, including software for managing customer relations and sales. He’s been a more visible Oracle spokesman recently, touting the company’s cloud offerings to outlets geared to small businesses and financial services. In a recent interview with PYMNTS,  Tarkoff highlighted how Oracle is using new technologies, such as AI and Internet of Things, to improve the way businesses use cloud applications.