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  • August 26, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM: The 2019 CRM Influential Leader Awards

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SugarCRM in February appointed Craig Charlton as CEO, succeeding Larry Augustin, who served as CEO for 10 years and will remain with the company as chairman of the board of directors.

“Craig is going to take SugarCRM to the next level,” Augustin said in a statement at the time. “His experience in accelerating growth organically and through acquisitions, his passion for acquiring and servicing customers at global scale, and his expertise in building, selling, implementing, and supporting CRM systems make him an extraordinary fit for SugarCRM. He is the right person to lead SugarCRM to the next stage of growth.”

Prior to joining Cupertino, Calif.-based SugarCRM, Charlton spent 25 years building and running high-growth businesses like Oildex, a provider of financial automation software and services for the oil and gas industry; Abila, a provider of financial and CRM software for the government and nonprofit sectors; and Epicor Software, an enterprise resource planning solutions provider. He came to SugarCRM with a strategy of acquisition, product portfolio expansion, and organic growth.

Charlton immediately got to work toward those goals. Less than a month into the job, he piloted SugarCRM through its acquisition of Collabspot, an email integration provider. Then in May, SugarCRM acquired Salesfusion, a provider of marketing automation solutions.

“With Salesfusion, we’re taking our market-leading CRM to the next level, harnessing Salesfusion’s advanced marketing automation capabilities to streamline campaign management, drive personalized engagement, improve conversion, and transform customer experience throughout the customer journey,” Charlton said at the time. “Together, we’re enabling marketing, sales, and service professionals to be more productive, take action on customer insights, and focus on high-impact, value-added offerings that create relentlessly relevant customer experiences.”

Rebecca Wetteman, vice president of Nucleus Research, also lauded the move as a game changer. “SugarCRM’s acquisition of Salesfusion complements a market leader in easy-to-use CRM with the comprehensive marketing automation capabilities of Salesfusion. A tightly integrated platform will accelerate time to value and increase both sales and marketing productivity by streamlining campaign creation, lead nurturing, and the handoff to sales,” she said in a statement.

A week after the acquisition, SugarCRM integrated Salesfusion’s Marketing Automation Platform with Google Ads to help marketers create, manage, optimize, and measure the return on investment of Google paid search campaigns.

And Charlton isn’t done yet.

“The [Collabspot and Salesfusion] acquisitions, combined with our new product innovations, clearly demonstrate that Sugar is on a solid growth path and strategically evolving our business every day,” he has stated. “This is just the beginning of many more game-changing announcements that will dramatically transform our company for employees, customers, partners, and the industry.” 

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