Trouble at

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-02-06 Print this article Print

Steve Cakebread, president and chief strategy officer at, has resigned, and reports say two top vice presidents have also left the company.

Is there trouble in the house that Benioff built?'s president and chief strategy officer, Steve Cakebread, has resigned and reports say two other vice presidents have also left the fold, possibly in layoffs.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 5, the SAAS (software as a service) provider founded by CEO Marc Benioff said Cakebread resigned from the company to "pursue other professional opportunities." Cakebread joined in 2002 and served as the company's chief financial officer for six years. He took on the role of president and chief strategy officer in 2008.

According to the filing, Cakebread's exit was "for personal reasons and does not involve any controversy or disagreement with the company." The filing said Cakebread will receive a severance payment of $200,000 and a bonus of $225,000.

"Steve did a remarkable job in his time here at, putting the people and processes in place to build an outstanding company," said Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy at "And we wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

For an analysis of cloud computing's prospects in 2009, click here.

Meanwhile, according to published reports, two of's vice presidents also have left the company, including Gary Hanna, executive vice president for enterprise sales, and another yet unnamed executive vice president.

"We've got no comment on rumors and speculation," said spokesperson Gordon Evans.

However, sources close to the company said is moving full speed ahead with hiring and new projects while many of its competitors are delaying products and laying off staff. ranks with companies such as Google and, which are viewed as leading the industry into the next decade with cloud computing.

In other news, announced that it has been ranked among the top three IT vendors for overall customer satisfaction in 2008, according to a recently issued report by VendorRate. In addition to, ChemSW, Informix, Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard,, VMware, Apple and Research In Motion were also listed in the top 10 for overall customer satisfaction.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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