SAP taps who's who of business application software

SAP is luring executives away from rival software companies.

Several top names in the who's who of business application software have abandoned Oracle and Siebel Systems to join arch rival SAP.

After dropping hints last week, SAP confirmed on Monday that the Walldorf, Germany, company has lured more than 200 people away from its competitors, including a handful of top executives. The new hires reflect a dramatic shift in the movement of talent in Silicon Valley, the company said in a statement.

The exodus of talent at Oracle comes as the database giant struggles to incorporate both new products and people acquired through its purchase of PeopleSoft.

Siebel has responded to its outward flow of talent by launching an employee retention program.

The U.S. software company has lost a vital executive to SAP: Nimish Mehta, was responsible for Siebel's high-growth Customer Data Integration division. In his new role as senior vice president of enterprise information management at SAP, Mehta will create new product strategy for products focused on structured and unstructured data. Before joining Siebel, he had worked at Oracle for more than a decade.

Also joining SAP from the Siebel ranks are Richard Campione and Bob Stutz. Campione was formerly in charge of the group's financial services and public sector business. At SAP, he will be responsible for industry solution marketing. Stutz, who was in charge of 21 vertical product lines at Siebel, will lead SAP's strategic application development, responsible for the analysis, design, coding and testing of new software, enhancements and corrections to existing software.

Like Siebel, Oracle has also lost three top executives to SAP: Mike Mayer, Dan Rosenberg and John Zepecki. Formerly in charge of driving large IT infrastructure projects funded by development organizations such as The World Bank, Mayer will assume a similar role at SAP. Rosenberg, who headed Oracle's research and development for usability design, will be responsible for user interface development of all SAP products, including application user interfaces and the design of the group's NetWeaver integration platform.

Zepecki will be in charge of developing SAP's xApps systems and supporting the group's composite application initiatives. At PeopleSoft, which is now owned by Oracle, he was responsible for the company's enterprise performance management product line and financial management portal systems.

Other new hires include Doug Merritt and Gordon Simpson. Merritt, who was formerly with Quest Software and PeopleSoft, will be in charge of providing enhancements for the mySAP Business Suite, among other tasks. Simpson, the former Chief Technology Officer of BEA Systems, will take over as vice president of SAP's applied technology, product and technology group.

In January, SAP was able to lure George Paolini away from Sun Microsystems. At Sun, Paolini made a name for himself by helping build the company's Java development community.

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