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Corio names new CEO, snags 3 Oracle execs

Application service provider Corio is raiding competitors for executive help.

Application service provider Corio is raiding its competitors for executive help.

The company today named former Oracle executive George Kadifa as its new chief executive.

Corio's former chief executive and founder Jonathan Lee will now serve as chief strategy officer, the company said.

Redwood City, California-based Corio and main rival USInternetworking compete in the growing applications outsourcing market. Companies hire an Applications Service Provider, or ASP, to host and manage software applications at a data center, so they avoid the headache of doing it themselves. Customers access applications on their PCs via leased line or browser.

Corio executives said hiring a new CEO is key to its growth.

"Jonathan knew that by building this company to a large organization there would come a time that he'd have to bring in somebody to take the company truly to Fortune 500 capability," said Corio's new vice president of marketing Kirk Krappe, a former executive at Siebel Systems and Oracle who also joined Corio today.

Corio recruited Kadifa, who has more than 18 years of industry and management experience, from Oracle, which also competes in the ASP space. The business software maker currently hosts its own customer relationship management applications through the Oracle Business Online service.

At Oracle, Kadifa was senior vice president of the worldwide industrial applications division.

Prior to Oracle, Kadifa worked at strategic management consultancy Booz-Allen & Hamilton, where he was a member of the consulting staff that helped start-ups develop their businesses.

In other news, Corio, which was founded last year, said it appointed several other executives today, including new chief information officer Roy Lowrance, the former technology chief at Boston-based Fleet Financial Group.

Kevin Fogarty, of IT services firm Tivoli Systems, joins as Corio's senior vice president of sales, the company said. And another former Oracle executive, Thomas Spingola, joins Corio as its vice president of operations. At Oracle, Spingola was vice president of operations and technology the Oracle Business Online division.

Most analysts believe the ASP space is going to experience strong growth, but that the business model is still in its infancy.

As reported, Forrester Research expects the growing shortage of skilled technology workers will push companies to seek outside help in maintaining their applications. Forrester expects the ASP market to reach $10.1 billion by 2001.

Applications outsourcing is expected to grow fastest among mid-sized firms that expect to save money and avoid management headaches through farming out complex systems.

Corio manages enterprise applications such as PeopleSoft's for customers such as Clarent and Excite@Home.