We often here about the alumni from companies like Google and PayPal, and the startups they’re involved in – indeed it seems that having one of these elite put their name to a startup holds a cachet similar to that given to “by Royal appointment” in the UK. When news broke last week about the acquisition of SlideRocket by VMware, it started me thinking about the early salesforce alums. After all, salesforce arguably invented SaaS and made Cloud Computing a commonly known term in the industry – it’s interesting to see what it’s staffers have gone on to do.

Here’s a quick wrap up of former salesforce execs who have gone on to be founders or CEO’s of new startups;

  • Chuck Dietrich – former VP salesforce mobile. Went on to become CEO of SlideRocket and guide the company to its acquisition
  • Todd McKinnon – former head of engineering at salesforce. Went on to found security company Okta
  • Frederic Kerrest – sales and bizdev guy at salesforce. Co-founder at Okta
  • George John – former team lead at salesforce. Went on to CEO position at consumer intent startup Rocketfuel
  • Tien Tzuo – employee number 11 at salesforce. Founded subscription and billing company Zuora
  • Jim Yu – former salesfroce team leader. Went on to found BrightEdge an enterprise SEO company
  • Cary Fullbright, former Chief Strategy Office at salesforce. Went on to CEO position at Jobscience an HR software company building apps on top of force.com

It’s an impressive line up with some runs on the board already. Who else do you know of that has moved on from Salesforce to found a successful startup?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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