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Former US CIO Kundra joins Salesforce.com

Cloud champion to head up emerging markets

Cloudy CRM software supplier Salesforce.com has hired Vivek Kundra, the first CIO for the US government, to be its executive vice president of emerging markets.

President Barak Obama wanted more accountability and cost-cutting across myriad US government agencies – that's why he created the US CIO position. Kundra, who was offered that job in March 2009, had previously been in charge of the IT operations of the city of Washington DC, which had 86 agencies and 38,000 employees of its own; before that had been secretary of both commerce and technology for the state of Virginia.

While in charge of the IT operations for the capitol city, Kundra was a big proponent of using Google Enterprise, the stack of cloudy office automation apps. After becoming federal CIO three years ago, Kundra was widely expected to have the US government embrace cloud computing, and he launched an open data web site called Data.gov to help foster the sharing of data collected by Uncle Sam as well as penning the Cloud First policy of trying to put new workloads on cloudy infrastructure from the get-go.

In June of last year, with Data.gov having its budget slashed and Kundra credited with saving the Feds $3bn on the IT bill, the first CIO of the US stepped down from his post to take a fellowship post at Harvard University.

"Vivek Kundra is an amazing technology visionary who opened the eyes of millions to the transformational power of cloud computing," crowed Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at Salesforce.com, in a statement. "His disruptive leadership is just what the industry needs to accelerate the social enterprise."

It is somewhat interesting that Salesforce.com did not give Kundra a job evangelizing cloudy software to governments. Perhaps Kundra has had enough of the public sector for a while. ®

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