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Old Oracle Mafia to Run Salesforce Unit

Salesforce.com has hired Polly Sumner, one of the old Oracle mafia, as president, platform, alliances and services

Salesforce.com has hired Polly Sumner, one of the old Oracle mafia, as president, platform, alliances and services, responsible for the technology and marketing of the company's Force.com platform. Sumner was recently president of global services for Telcordia, the telecoms outfit, and from 1987-1999 worked at Oracle with Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Force.com lets third parties access Salesforce's infrastructure and develop software that Salesforce hosts.

Apple Bows to EC on iTunes Pricing
Apple has changed its iTunes pricing in Europe to satisfy the European Commission and avoid getting fined. Pricing will be uniform across Britain and the continent within six months after Apple lowers its UK prices. It's threatening to ditch record labels that insist on higher prices in the UK because of differences in copyright law. The EC has closed its antitrust investigation of the company.

Novell Loses General Counsel
Discovery Communications, the media company behind the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, the Military Channel and other such things, has poached Novell general counsel Joe LaSala and made him their own lawyer. He starts there on January 14, replacing Mark Hollinger who's been made COO. It was important to Discovery that LaSala sat on Novell's executive committee. Novell said its deputy general counsel Ryan Richards would fill in until a replacement is named.

HP Ups Green Pledge
HP says it will cut the energy consumption of its volume desktops and notebooks by 25% by 2010. It's looking at more efficient power supplies and chipsets and other unspecified technology and processes.

Tesco To Sell Dell Widgets
Right before Christmas, Dell added to its lengthening retailer roster and signed Tesco to sell its notebooks and desktops in 500 shops in the UK, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia starting this month. HP still has 10 times the retail outlets. Meanwhile, Dell also exercised its option to buy CIT's 30% interest in Dell Financial Services for $306 million. It now owns all of the credit/lease operation.

New Red Hat CEO Feisty
Red Hat's shiny new CEO James Whitehurst has been telling the press that he wants to go nose-to-nose with Oracle and Microsoft in the name of "democratizing information." Whitehurst, who left Delta Air Lines last summer when he didn't become CEO there, started the Red Hat job the first of the year. By way of introduction he told the AP he wants to expand into applications and the desktop.

Hurd Captures Laurels
BusinessWeek has named HP CEO Mark Hurd its Businessman of the Year.

Backdating Watch
Former Brocade CEO Greg Reyes, convicted last August of 10 counts of securities fraud in connection with backdating, has lost a bid for a new trial despite the fact that a key prosecution witness recanted part of her testimony and admitted to lying, feeling bullied by the DA. The judge said it wouldn't have made any difference in the outcome if she had admitted the finance department knew about the backdating. Reyes is supposed to be sentenced January 16. He's reportedly looking at 15-21 months in the hoosegow.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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SaaS News Desk 01/12/08 01:52:05 PM EST

Salesforce.com has hired Polly Sumner, one of the old Oracle mafia, as president, platform, alliances and services, responsible for the technology and marketing of the company's Force.com platform. Sumner was recently president of global services for Telcordia, the telecoms outfit, and from 1987-1999 worked at Oracle with Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Force.com lets third parties access Salesforce's infrastructure and develop software that Salesforce hosts.