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Benioff bails from Borg Board

Salesforce supremo was invited onto board by Cisco CEO Chambers but won't seek re-election

Ciscoblood

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has decided not to stand for re-election to Cisco's Board of Directors at the company's November annual general meeting.

Cisco filed the paperwork to make it happen last Firday, and issued a statement attributed to its own CEO John Chambers to cement the departure.

Chambers' statement is as follows:

“I am extremely thankful for Marc’s service to Cisco, especially as his own company is currently enjoying hyper growth and the demands on him are enormous. His infectious passion and guiding vision are crucial for Salesforce.com. I personally asked him to join the Board as I knew that his laser focus on customers would help Cisco as we navigate through the many market transitions of cloud, mobility, security, Internet of Everything and more. His insight, experience and knowledge in software and the cloud has been invaluable to Cisco. His focus on innovation, customers and outcomes during his time on the board will continue to have positive impact on Cisco for years to come. I thank Marc for his exemplary service, and am glad he’ll be with us through November, and look forward to continuing the close relationship between Cisco and Salesforce.”

Benioff clambered aboard the Borg board in 2012. In the time since, Cisco has launched major initiatives in most of the topics Chambers mentions. The borg now has its own “intercloud”, has positioned itself to play in the internet of things and launched an application-centric version of software-defined networking with the November 2013 launch of its Application-Centric networking initiative.

Those new releases are yet to get massive market traction, making it too early to judge Benioff's contribution.

Cisco's board will shrink to ten members once Benioff bails, a change that seems to indicate there's no direct replacement under consideration. ®

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