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Oracle puts former HP exec Donatelli in charge of hardware unit

David Donatelli, who used to lead HP's enterprise unit, will oversee Oracle's engineered systems such as Exadata, server, storage and networking gear.

Oracle said Hewlett-Packard veteran David Donatelli will lead the company's converged infrastructure unit and report to CEO Mark Hurd.

Donatelli, who used to lead HP's enterprise unit, will oversee Oracle's engineered systems such as Exadata, server, storage and networking gear.

Since the acquisition of Sun, Oracle has struggled to grow its hardware business. Although Oracle is among the leaders in integrated systems, executives barely mentioned hardware on its fourth quarter earnings call Wednesday.

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The mission for Donatelli is to "respond to customer demand for Oracle's hardware solutions that operate in a hybrid cloud "

Simply put, Oracle is likely to be talking about hybrid cloud deployments a lot more much like IBM, HP and Dell have for years.

Hurd said in a statement:

David joins Oracle at a pivotal time, when we are the only major hardware company in the industry experiencing growth. I can think of no one more qualified to continue to accelerate our growth, differentiate our offerings, and further cement the leadership of Oracle's global hardware business.

In March, Business Insider reported that Donatelli landed at Oracle, but an official announcement never came. Donatelli also worked for EMC.

Despite Hurd's talk about how Oracle's hardware business is growing, the financials tell a different tale.

For the year ended May 31, Oracle's hardware revenue was down 3 percent from the previous year. In constant currency, the hardware business was up 2 percent. Hardware product sales were down 5 percent for the fiscal year.

In other words, Oracle has stabilized its hardware business as the higher-margin Exa- product line fares well, but it'll be up to Donatelli to boost growth in future quarters.