Conways term will expire in 2008.
Anyone who followed with fascination (and disbelief) the raucous 18-month takeover battle between Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft is aware of Conways departure from the top spot.
While PeopleSofts board said it wasnt Conways staunch refusal to entertain Oracles numerous buyout offers that caused his dismissal, it was his apparent hatred of Oracle that was Conways undoing.
The PeopleSoft debacle aside, Conways appointment comes at an interesting time for Salesforce.com.
The company is embarking on ambitious plans to become what some industry watchers refer to as the Microsoft of the On Demand world.
Salesforce.com started out providing hosted CRM (customer relationship management) software, but has, with the release of its Appforce development platform, moved into position to become the on demand development environment for ISVs [independent software vendors] and other developers.
This is where Oracle enters the picture.
The seemingly voracious Oracle is gunning for dominance in the On Demand market—and gunning for Salesforce.com in the process.
In September, Oracle acquired Siebel Systems Inc., with the goal of pumping a lot of R&D dollars into the Siebel On Demand offering, and crushing Salesforce.com.
During a recent Fusion Middleware road show Oracle co-president Charles Phillips didnt rule out the possibility of acquiring Salesforce.com, but said it would be fun to "crush" the company, according to media reports.
Conway, along with Marc Benioff, Salesforce.coms chairman and CEO, are no strangers to Oracle. Both are alums, having served executive positions.
"We are delighted that Craig is joining the board," said Benioff, in a statement. "Craig is a seasoned executive who brings a wealth of industry and business knowledge that will benefit Salesforce.com as we continue to redefine the CRM marketplace."