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Cakebread, fresh from Salesforce, joins Xactly

Steve Cakebread, who left his post as Salesforce.com president and chief strategy officer on Feb. 1, has joined Xactly Corp. as CFO.

Cakebread begins on Feb. 23, reporting directly to Xactly founder and CEO Christopher Carbrera. He replaces Steve Klei, who served as interim CFO for over a year. Cakebread will be responsible for all of Xactly’s financial operations, legal, IT and human resources functions, and he is also expected to be a driving force in Xactly’s ambitious growth plans.

“We wanted the caliber of someone at Steve’s level of experience, as we are set for very explosive growth,” said Karen Steele, VP of marketing and business development for Xactly. “One thing we’ve done a good job of is hiring very seasoned people that have been in the industry for many years, and at this juncture, with acquisitions and opportunities ahead of us, we needed experience and a leader in the SaaS space. This should signal to the market that we intend to be the leader and grow and increase market share, whether that means build, buy or partner.”

Xactly is a privately-held company that provides on-demand sales performance management to corporate clients. It recently acquired competitor Centive, and more strategic acquisitions seem to be in the works. Cakebread led Salesforce through a similar series of acquisitions and growth in his six years there. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2008, Salesforce went from approximately $22 million in annual revenue to $749 million.

Some analysts even predict that the company is working toward an IPO, given that Cakebread was the force behind Salesforce’s IPO in 2004. However, the continuing integration of Centive and retention of those clients will take first priority for Cakebread and Xactly.

“A veteran like Steve Cakebread, who has obvious industry experience as well as experience with a SaaS business model and having taken Salesforce public in 2004, is a huge win that will help accelerate growth in big way,” Steele said.  

Indeed, Cakebread has been a big influence on Xactly’s founders, and Salesforce was one of the company’s first customers.  Other Xactly clients include Cablevision, Best Buy and RightNow Technologies.

Salesforce declined to comment on Cakebread’s departure and new position, beyond a statement from Bruce Francis, VP of corporate strategy: “Steve did a remarkable job in his time here at salesforce.com, putting the people and processes in place to build an outstanding company. And we wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” the statement read.

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