The on-demand SFA provider will name a new chairman at a later date.
Posted Nov 23, 2004
On-demand CRM developer Salesnet has named Alan Goldsworthy, former CEO of Applix, the new chief executive. He succeeds Mike Doyle, who had a four-year tenure at Salesnet. Goldsworthy says that he is the right choice to "take the company to the next level of growth." Doyle's replacement as chairman has not been publicly named.
The executive transition has been in the works for two months, and careful observers may have noticed that the executive profiles disappeared from Salesnet's Web page some days ago after the changeover was accidentally leaked. Goldsworthy had planned to keep the change under wraps even longer. "I have been spending most of my day, every single day, speaking to partners, OEMs, resellers, and customers to understand where their needs are and where they're going. I found that a higher priority" than going on a press tour, he says.
A player in enterprise technology since the mid-1970s, Goldsworthy was a long-time exec at computing-pioneer Digital Equipment Corp. He says his experience in enterprise software positions him well to refuel Salesnet's growth as the company transitions from educating customers about on-demand CRM to capitalizing on the market momentum that already exists. "We're going to talk about solutions and how effective we are for salespeople, managers, and executives," he says.
Among Goldsworthy's key objectives are the continuation of Salesnet's OEM and private-label programs, and the ongoing integration of the system with other enterprise software packages in marketing, financials, and employee compensation. Strengthening ties with Microsoft is also on the agenda.
Although he was seen as a CRM champion at Applix, Goldsworthy's tenure ended in February 2003 on a down note, with the sale of Applix's CRM suite to iET; open dissention from the company's largest shareholder over corporate direction; and the restatement of financial results. Applix said at the time the accounting irregularities were the result of straightforward mistakes, and Goldsworthy says he left for health reasons. "I checked into the hospital the next day at 5 a.m.," he says.
"I have a great deal of respect for [Goldsworthy], and I think it would be wrong to read too much into the Applix situation," says Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research. "If you look at Goldsworthy's strengths and past history, he's a bit of a finance guy, and tries to orient CRM toward delivering tangible financial results, which is not necessarily a bad thing: trying to drive [CRM] from being simply interesting to being an important part of an organization's arsenal to make money and satisfy the customers."
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