Insiders always joked that job security was not a benefit of the vice president of marketing position at Oracle Corp. However, the current individual in that job appears to be leaving by his own choice.
Zachary Nelson resigned today to become general manager of McAfee Associates' Help Desk, Enterprise and Antivirus Products Division. He will also be a McAfee vice president and corporate officer, assuming his new duties at the Santa Clara, Calif., company in mid-April.
"I had the longest tenure in this position since Pete Tierny," joked Nelson, who held the position for about two of his four years at Oracle. At least four marketing vice presidents came and went between Tierney, who reigned during some of Oracle's darkest days in 1989 and '90, and Nelson.
"Obviously I'm excited. I get to oversee development, services, marketing and sales at McAfee. It's about a third of the company," Nelson said in an interview today.
McAfee reported record profits of $39 million on sales of $181.1 million in 1996.
Nelson was known as a behind-the-scenes player in what is usually a high-visibility job.
"I don't know him and never ran into him. With [Chairman and CEO Lawrence] Ellison [running Oracle], it's better to stay behind the scenes," said Wayne Eckerson, analyst for the Seybold Group in Boston.
An Oracle spokeswoman said the Redwood Shores, Calif., company will search for a direct replacement for Nelson, who plans to leave Oracle by the middle of next week.