Oracle Shares Down on Word of Sales Shake-Up

Oracle shares are trading down by more than 2 percent today on word that a longtime sales executive may be leaving the company and that an organizational shake-up may be in the offing.

At least two analyst reports today suggested that Keith Block, the longtime head of sales for North America, is out. This is the same Keith Block seen disparaging Oracle’s lineup of Sun products in an embarrassing instant messaging conversation with another Oracle executive last summer.

The conversation was included in a dump of documents subpoenaed by Hewlett-Packard in connection with the ongoing litigation between those two companies concerning Intel’s Itanium chip. (HP’s dump came after a release of an equally juicy cache of documents by Oracle earlier the same day.)

The exchange between Block and Anje Dodson, Oracle’s VP for Human Resources, was conducted while Block was on a flight to Washington, D.C., on July 28. In it, Block, typing in the clipped language customary to instant messaging, says the following:

???Nobody talks about Sun, even the Sun customers???it’s dead dead dead???.Nobody wants to sell Sun???it baaaalllllooooooows???.pig with lipstick, at best.???

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