Microsoft has tapped a former Sun Microsystems and IBM executive to lead its North American sales and marketing…
“Microsoft on Monday named industry veteran Robert Youngjohns as its new head of North American sales and marketing, finally filling what had become one of the more puzzling executive vacancies in the IT industry…”
Seattle -- Robert YoungJohns, who most recently was president and CEO of performance management software vendor Callidus, is now president of North America sales and marketing as well as a corporate vice president at Microsoft.
After more than two years and strong revenues at sales performance management software vendor Callidus Software, Robert Youngjohns stepped down Monday as Callidus’ president and chief executive officer. Leslie Stretch, senior vice president of global sales, marketing, and on-demand, will replace him as president and CEO of Callidus.
Callidus scrambled Tuesday to articulate a message about the change in leadership. “This happened fairly quickly,” says a Callidus public relations representative.
“The San Jose, Calif.-based Callidus makes software that ties companies’ employee compensation to business goals.”
“In his new role, British-born Youngjohns, 56, has also been handed the role of corporate vice president of Microsoft and will manage a team of 8,500 Volish sales force, which according to the software behemoth generated revenue of more than $51bn in 2007.”
He fills a position that has been vacant since February 2007, when Bill Veghte left to oversee business management and strategy for Microsoft’s Windows business.
Michael Park, corporate vice president of the U.S. Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners Group (SMS&P), and Jens Winther Moberg, corporate vice president of the U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group, had been sharing the position on an interim basis, much to the surprise of some of the vendor’s customers and partners.
“A Microsoft spokesperson credited Youngjohns with doubling Callidus’ size during his tenure, and achieving 45 percent year-on-year growth.”
“Callidus has a good traditional product and enjoyed a large market share under Youngjohns’ leadership,” says Denis Pombriant, managing principal of CRM research firm Beagle Research Group. Pombriant will be interested to see whether or not Youngjohns’ will take his thoughts on on-demand software with him to Microsoft.
Youngjohns’ more than 30-year career includes a decade-long stint at Sun Microsystems, where he was executive vice president of global sales at the company, overseeing the entire Sun sales team. Youngjohns also spent 18 years in various roles at IBM.
He left Sun in May 2005 to become president and CEO of Callidus Software, a San Jose, Calif.-based vendor of sales performance management software.
During his last role as top executive at Callidus, the company saw its business double in two and a half years and achieves 45 percent year-over-year growth.
“He will continue to serve on the Callidus board after he joins Microsoft on Dec. 3.”
Microsoft, which has been looking to fill its US sales head gap since February this year, said Youngjohns will join the software King Kong on 3 December and will report directly to chief operating officer Kevin Turner.
“It is nice to see Microsoft giving a young man the chance to shine.”
Micosoft has been turning to on-demand in recent days, Pombriant says. “Microsoft is trying a lot of different things with CRM and it has recently announced it will be providing a flavor of on-demand for its resellers,” he says.
“It remains to be seen what direction that will take under Youngjohns,” Pombriant says, who adds that the newest Microsoft Dynamics release “both is and is not an on-demand flavor.”