Salesforce.com: CRM Actually Short for "Cakebread Resignation Management"
If today’s news is a harbinger of things to come, 2009 may be a difficult year for Salesforce.com. The company lost three senior executives this week, among them Steve Cakebread, its president and chief strategy officer.
Cakebread’s resignation, while unexpected, “does not involve any controversy or disagreement with the company,” Salesforce.com said in a SEC filing. Apparently, he’s leaving to “pursue other professional opportunities.” The circumstances surrounding the reported departure of the other two execs–Gary Hanna, EVP of enterprise sales, and another unnamed executive vice president–are still unclear. Sources close to the company tell Reuters that both were laid off. If that’s the case, it may be a sign that Salesforce.com’s (CRM) customer relationship management business is not as resistant to economic trends as it led us to believe last November. “While the company has been able to close deals, we believe the deals, in general, have been downsized and invoice duration has been shortened,” Cowen Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher wrote in a research note this week. “We know of no deals over 1,000 seats in the quarter.”