Salesforce.com hires former Oracle executive as president

Keith Block will lead the company's global sales, customer service and consulting services businesses

Salesforce.com has hired a key former Oracle executive Keith Block as its president and vice chairman.

He will lead the enterprise cloud computing company's global sales, customer support and consulting services businesses, and has also been appointed to the company's board.

Block, who was executive vice president of Oracle's North America sales and consulting, decided to quit the company to pursue other opportunities, Oracle said in a regulatory filing in June last year.

There was speculation that he had been axed because of critical remarks he made about his superior, co-president Mark Hurd, and other aspects of Oracle's business. The instant-message remarks emerged in court filings in a lawsuit between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle.

Block worked with Oracle for 26 years. In his last role in the company, he led an 11,000-person team and built "a multi-billion dollar sales business unit that achieved record revenue growth and margin expansion over the span of 10 years", according to a statement Thursday from Salesforce.com.

Salesforce.com said Tuesday it was acquiring marketing software company ExactTarget for US$2.5 billion, with the aim of building an annual revenue stream of $1 billion from its marketing product line.

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