Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Zendesk Releases New Help Center, Adds First Outside Director to Board

zendesk-logo-315x236At a time when nearly everything that can be done with software is shifting toward software that runs in the cloud, it’s pretty much a given that the software part that comes with automating customer service is going that way, too.

That’s the idea behind Zendesk, which has been growing like crazy, and also raising investor money like crazy, since its founding in 2008. Some 30,000 companies as varied as Box, Tumblr and Vodafone use it to help manage their customer-support efforts.

But since a big piece of customer support is helping customers help themselves, today the company pushed out a new self-support product that aims to make it easy for companies to run the sections of their site devoted to knowledge-based articles, help communities, and that sort of thing. If you’re already a Zendesk customer, it’s pretty easy to add on, the company said.

betsey_nelsonAlong with that news was word that Zendesk has added a new member to its board of directors. Sources familiar with the move tell AllThingsD that Elizabeth “Betsey” Nelson (pictured) will be Zendesk’s first outside director, and will serve as chair of its audit committee.

Nelson was for nine years the CFO of Macromedia, the media software company that was acquired by Adobe in 2005. She currently sits on the board of streaming music service Pandora, Finland’s phone maker Nokia and deal site LivingSocial. She has previously held board seats at Autodesk, Ancestry.com and SuccessFactors.

Zendesk’s existing directors are Mikkel Svane, its CEO and founder, Devdutt Yellurkar of Charles River Ventures, Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital and Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik