More Management Shakeup At Salesforce As Platform VP Will Leave

Tod Nielsen, Salesforce's executive vice president of platform, will be leaving the CRM vendor in March.

The departure of the company's platform chief, first reported Thursday by The Information, comes at a time when Salesforce is juggling three development platforms: Heroku, and Lightning. Nielsen was leading Salesforce's recent efforts to unite the three as an integrated solution.

"Tod has decided to leave Salesforce to pursue other opportunities. We appreciate his contributions to the success of the company, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," read a statement from Salesforce sent to CRN confirming Nielsen's exit.

[Related: Salesforce Showcases Next-Gen Lightning Platform That Goes Live Friday]

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Nielsen came to Salesforce at the end of 2010 when the San Francisco-based software giant acquired Heroku. He was CEO of the pioneering Platform-as-a-Service vendor that was founded in 2007.

Before that, he was co-president of VMware, from January 2009 to March 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Nielsen's exit comes a couple of weeks after the promotion of Keith Block to chief operating officer. Block, who came to Salesforce three years ago from Oracle, has become a right-hand man to CEO Marc Benioff, and Benioff recently credited him for helping Salesforce "get to next level of enterprise execution."

Salesforce has become one of the largest platform vendors in the industry on the back of Heroku, Force and Lightning.

Many of Salesforce’s largest and oldest partners have moved down the stack to leverage the three platforms in addition to implementing the CRM Software-as-a-Service. With Heroku, Force and Lightning, system integrators develop unique employee-facing and customer-facing applications that introduce their own IP into the mix, creating stickier and more-lucrative engagements.

The company recently introduced Heroku Enterprise in App Cloud, which integrates some of those development tools into a development platform for large organizations.

Nielsen was part of the effort to unite the platforms into a single offering called Salesforce1, which evolved into the App Cloud.