Arik Hesseldahl

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Shake-Up: Salesforce Taps New CMO as Two Presidents Head for Exits

A quiet but significant executive shake-up appears to be under way at cloud software company

The company has in the last few weeks tapped Lynn Vojvodich, a former marketing exec at powerhouse venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, as its new chief marketing officer. Vojvodich appears to have confirmed the move in her LinkedIn profile.

It’s Vojvodich’s second CMO gig. The first was at Terracotta, a big data software company. Before that she worked at Microsoft and BEA Systems.

Additionally, sources said that Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, Salesforce’s president for global sales and a five-year Salesforce veteran, may be close to leaving the company as well. Before Salesforce, she spent 18 years at Oracle as a senior vice president and two years at Intuit.

The two moves follow the replacement of Blair Crump, president for global enterprise sales. On Sept. 11, Salesforce named Anthony Fernicola, a former senior VP at Oracle, as Crump’s replacement. Crump was said by a source to be technically still employed at Salesforce but looking for a new job. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he sold a significant block of his Salesforce shares earlier this month.

The pending departures of Crump and Koplow-McAdams are said to be the direct result of the June hiring of former Oracle exec Keith Block. CEO Marc Benioff tapped Block as president and vice chairman, and as one source put it without elaborating: “They don’t want to work for Block.”

Block is the Oracle exec who was found to be disparaging some of the company’s products in a series of instant messages with a colleague that were disclosed in the course of the complicated Itanium lawsuit with Hewlett-Packard. He left Oracle a few days after those messages came to light.

Jane Hynes, a spokeswoman for Salesforce, confirmed Vojvodich’s hiring, but declined to comment on Crump and Koplow-McAdams, saying no changes to their status had been announced internally.

Update: I checked in with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on this. In an email he confirmed that Vojvodich has joined as CMO and will be reporting to COO George Hu. On the subject of Koplow-McAdam and Crump he said: “Blair and Hilarie are still at the company working every day with me.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work