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Former Microsoft Executive Martinez Lands at Salesforce.com

Former high-ranking Microsoft executive Maria Martinez has landed at Microsoft's archrival in the cloud CRM space, Salesforce.com, less than a year after she retired from Microsoft.

Martinez was announced Wednesday as executive vice president of Customers for Life, Salesforce.com's department dedicated, obviously enough, to customer retention. She'll report to Frank van Veenendaal, president of worldwide sales and services.

Martinez left Microsoft last July as corporate vice president of Microsoft Services, a position of special interest to large Microsoft partners. That role at Microsoft sets the company's services strategies, including how aggressively or gently Microsoft treats partners when going after consulting service business. The Microsoft post's responsibilities include management of Microsoft Consulting Services.

Microsoft filled Martinez' post immediately with Kathleen Hogan, who began her Microsoft career in 2003 in the partner-facing role of vice president of Customer and Partner Experience. Prior to joining Microsoft, Hogan was a partner at McKinsey & Co. in Silicon Valley and worked at Oracle Corp.

Martinez joins a company that is a poster child for cloud computing businesses and has enjoyed surging revenues, even during the recession. Salesforce.com first cracked the $1 billion in revenues mark in its 2009 fiscal year, which ended in January 2009, and reported revenue growth of 21 percent for fiscal year 2010 -- reaching $1.3 billion in revenues.

Those revenues are probably only slightly less than Microsoft's revenues across the entire Microsoft Dynamics line -- which includes not only cloud CRM but on-premise CRM and several lines of on-premise ERP (Microsoft bundles Dynamics revenues in with Office revenues in its financial statements, making direct comparisons difficult). But Microsoft isn't enjoying anywhere near the growth in business applications that Salesforce.com is reporting. For the nine months of Microsoft's current fiscal year, the company reported that its Dynamics revenues were down 1 percent.

Posted by Scott Bekker on 05/06/2010 at 1:23 PM


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