John Wookey, former senior vice president of applications development at Oracle, is taking a job with Oracle's bitter rival, SAP, according to a source with knowledge of his plans.
An SAP spokesman declined to confirm the news Monday. "We always want to inform our employees about any company news first," said SAP spokesman Saswato Das said. "We have nothing to say on this matter until we have a chance to brief our people."
Oracle did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Wookey had been a key figure behind Oracle's long-percolating Fusion Applications strategy, which will assemble the best attributes from the company's multiple business software lines into a next-generation suite.
His departure from the company in October 2007 prompted questions over the Fusion project's status, but the precise reasons why he left have remained unclear.
Wookey seemed to keep a low profile since leaving Oracle, perhaps due to a noncompete agreement. It was unclear Monday evening what his exact role at SAP would be. He could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Meanwhile, Oracle has named no firm general release date for the initial Fusion Applications suite but expects to have it in the hands of early customers late next year.
News of Wookey's apparent hiring at SAP prompted a thumbs up from one industry observer who was asked to comment regarding what the source said.
"John brings a wealth of ERP experience to SAP both from his days at Oracle and at Ross Systems," said China Martens, an analyst with the 451 Group, via e-mail. "We wonder whether his hiring might signal SAP is looking to emulate Oracle's Apps Unlimited strategy, spearheaded by John, where the company set up support tracks for its various apps."