Well that was quick.
Last week I wrote about Steve Cakebread leaving Salesforce.com and said that it was a reasonable thing to do at this point in the business cycle and in Cakebread’s career. I really expected that he’d take some time to rest, relax, get a tan, check out the market—all the things you do between gigs. In short, I figured he’d take a year off. He didn’t need a job.
Instead, he joined up with Xactly as CFO. The announcement just came out this morning. (Now if everyone could spend only a few days between jobs, the economy would be just fine. Hey, Steve, pick up the phone, Obama’s on the line…)
Seriously, adding Steve Cakebread to Xactly’s senior management team says a lot about where they want to go. It will take a couple of years and some luck but Xactly appears to be aiming at an IPO when market conditions improve. A few years ago that could have been assumed but with market conditions as tough as they are, you have to think hard about the IPO route. There is no IPO market today and by the time conditions improve taking a company public might be an arcane and nearly forgotten process. All the more reason to have someone like Cakebread on board.
This was a very smart hire and combined with the recent announcement of Xactly’s acquisition of Centive it presents a picture of momentum building at Xactly. My one note of caution though is that the market for SPM–sales performance management–is not in the $8 billion range Xactly posited in a recent press release. Xactly’s target market could be that big but it makes me wonder what else they’re planning. Stay tuned.