Arik Hesseldahl

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New Relic Taps Salesforce President Koplow-McAdams as Revenue Chief

hilarie_koplow-mcadamsNew Relic, the fast-growing software monitoring company, will announce today that it has hired Salesforce.com President Hilarie Koplow-McAdams as its new chief revenue officer.

The move confirms a Sept. 30 AllThingsD report saying that Koplow-McAdams was close to leaving Salesforce amid a broader shake-up on that company’s executive team, though at the time it was unclear where she was headed.

In an interview, New Relic CEO Lew Cirne said hiring Koplow-McAdams was one of two things he wanted to complete this year. The other is finishing Rubicon, the business intelligence engine he dreamed up during a vacation coding bender at Lake Tahoe’s Rubicon Peak last year.

“Earlier this year, I thought that if I could convince Hilarie to join us and complete Rubicon Beta, then everything else is just gravy, I would have done what I needed to do as CEO of the company,” Cirne said.

For Koplow-McAdams, it’s her fourth stop at a major software company, and the first with the word “chief” in her title. She’s an 18-year veteran of Oracle, joining the software giant in 1988 when it was only a $100 million company. She left in 2006 as an EVP running Oracle’s direct sales business. She then spent two years at Intuit, before moving to Salesforce in 2008, first as EVP for worldwide sales and eventually rising to president for global sales.

Koplow-McAdams (pictured above speaking at a 2012 Salesforce.com event) said that conversations with Cirne started with a plan to have her join New Relic’s board of advisers. “When I met Lew, it felt different,” she said. “This is a guy designing a product that people love. When I started talking to customers and analysts, I could not believe the warm reception that I got. That got me thinking.”

New Relic’s main business is its cloud-based software that is used to monitor the performance of other software — Web apps, smartphone apps and pretty much any other kind of software you can think of — to help ensure that it’s running right. It does it in a big and granular way by recording a few billion events a day that are reported in to a huge database. Customers can then comb through that data with relative ease and zero in on any problems with their software and then try to fix them.

The company got a healthy dose of attention earlier this month when government contractors working to fix the troubled Healthcare.gov website were spotted using the service to track and fix problems. The disclosure was made in the form of a screenshot of New Relic’s service that appeared in a Dec. 1 progress report from the Department of Health and Human Service on the efforts to improve the site’s performance. “That was pretty big news for us,” Cirne said. “I woke up on Sunday and people were tweeting about it. When you’re a kid growing up thinking about playing in the big league, you always want to throw a strikeout, and we threw a strikeout.”

Koplow-McAdams’s role will be to work not only on sales, Cirne said; she will also head up customer success efforts, including support operations, as well as business development and strategic alliances.

The move caps a busy year at New Relic. The company’s customer base has swelled to 70,000. It has raised a combined $175 million in five funding rounds since 2008, the latest of which was an $80 million private equity round early this year led by Insight Venture Partners. Other investors include Dragoneer Investment Group, Passport Ventures, Allen & Company, Benchmark, Trinity Ventures and Tenaya Capital.

The company is also starting to warm up the engines for an IPO. In July it added longtime Silicon Valley finance veteran Peter Currie to its board of directors. Currie also sits on the board of directors at Twitter, and was briefly CFO at Facebook.


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google