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Former Palo Alto, Calif., CIO Won't Work at Oracle After All

Despite announcing the move in November, Jonathan Reichental has turned down the offer from Oracle in favor of starting his own business. Oracle, meanwhile, is still searching for somebody to fill the position.

Oracle is still looking for someone to lead public-sector projects after Jonathan Reichental, who was set to start the job in January, backed out to start his own business.

Formerly the CIO of Palo Alto, Calif., Reichental told Government Technology in November that he’d been offered the job as “global industries solution leader of Oracle’s public-sector division.”

GT has since confirmed that job title wasn’t quite right — Reichental was offered the job of senior director of public-sector industry solutions — and he didn’t end up taking it. Reichental said on Thursday that while he was scheduled to start at Oracle in mid-December 2018, he asked to postpone his start date until January. Then, through conversations with friends, family and Oracle over the holidays, he decided it was time for something else.

“After 30 years in the workplace, I thought, rather than jumping into yet another big job … This will be an opportunity to potentially explore my own thing,” he said. “I thought this was a great opportunity for me to pursue my own business.”

Although he said it was too soon to give a name or other specifics for this business, Reichental said it would involve consulting, teaching, workshops and content development.

“My disposition for a big part of my career has been innovation, so I’m going to focus on innovation strategy and adoption and understanding of emerging technology and trends,” he said.

Keith Rajecki, Oracle’s vice president of solutions for the public sector, education and research, said the role Reichental turned down was not created for him, and Oracle is actively seeking to fill it.

“There’s been no organizational changes or changes to our strategy as a company,” he said.

Rajecki declined to comment on the future direction of Oracle’s public-sector projects before this role is filled, but the new hire, whomever it may be, will coincide with a renewed push into public-sector software by the company in recent months. This included the hire of Peter Pirnejad, a former assistant city manager in Napa and director of development services in Palo Alto, as strategy director for Oracle’s new community-development platform.

Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.