Cisco Loses WebEx Chief To Salesforce

collaboration software

The move will help further cement its feet in cloud computing as it continues to move away from traditional software.

Dennerline, who was integral to Cisco's cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) strategies, took the helm of WebEx shortly after Cisco acquired the conferencing and collaboration software for $3.2 billion in May 2007. At Cisco, Dennerline served as senior vice president and general manager of the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant's collaboration software group and was responsible for overseeing all of Cisco's next-generation collaboration software solutions.

Dennerline was charged with overseeing not only Cisco's cloud and SaaS strategies, but also its products, including the WebEx offerings.

Earlier this year, Dennerline outlined Cisco's plan of attack for cloud computing and SaaS and offered insight into how Cisco would challenge rivals like Microsoft and Google in the cloud.

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In his new role at, Dennerline will report to Frank van Veenendaal, president of worldwide sales and chief sales officer.

"We welcome Doug to the team; one that he is already familiar with as part of the original team at Cisco that selected our service years ago," said van Veenendaal in a statement. "Doug's proven track record of sales leadership success and firsthand knowledge of the benefits of cloud computing will accelerate us in our pursuit to free businesses from the constraints of traditional software."

Dennerline joins after nearly a decade with Cisco. Before taking over the collaboration software group, he served as senior vice president of the U.S. Commercial group, where he was responsible for all field sales, systems engineering, marketing programs and operations necessary to achieve Cisco's projected growth in this market segment, which resulted in double-digit year-over-year growth. Before that, Dennerline was senior vice president of the U.S. Enterprise, Commercial and Federal Sales group, responsible for nearly half of Cisco's revenue. Prior to Cisco, Dennerline spent 10 years at 3Com in various leadership positions.

"It's a great time to join," Dennerline said in a statement. "Businesses are more open than ever to how cloud computing can help them achieve their business goals. Having been a customer for years, I can attest to the benefits's cloud computing solutions bring to sales specifically. I look forward to joining the team in its pursuit towards the 'End of Software.' "

Dennerline's departure from Cisco makes him the second key executive to leave the networking behemoth this month. Last week, Cisco channels veteran Alex Thurber left Cisco for McAfee. Thurber, a 10-year Cisco veteran and its senior director of technology go-to-market strategy for worldwide channels, started this week as McAfee's new senior vice president of worldwide channels.