Is there trouble in the house that Benioff built? Salesforce.com'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 Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com, putting the people and processes in place to build an outstanding company," said Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy at Salesforce.com. "And we wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
Meanwhile, according to published reports, two of Salesforce.com'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 Salesforce.com spokesperson Gordon Evans.
However, sources close to the company said Salesforce.com is moving full speed ahead with hiring and new projects while many of its competitors are delaying products and laying off staff. Salesforce.com ranks with companies such as Google and Amazon.com, which are viewed as leading the industry into the next decade with cloud computing.
In other news, Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com, ChemSW, Informix, Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Amazon.com, VMware, Apple and Research In Motion were also listed in the top 10 for overall customer satisfaction.