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Salesforce.com Hires Former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra

Salesforce.com has nabbed Vivek Kundra, the United States' first CIO, as executive VP of emerging markets.

The company announced Kundra's appointment Monday. Kundra, who was named by President Barack Obama as the country's first CIO in 2009, stepped down last summer to take a fellowship at Harvard University as a joint fellow at the Kennedy School and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Kundra's claim to fame was not so much that he was the nation's first CIO, but his footprint on shifting a huge portion of the United States' $80 billion IT spending to the cloud. Under his "Cloud-First" policy, Kundra set the bar to move 25 percent of agencies' IT spending, amounting to $20 billion, to the cloud.

Having evangelized the federal government's move to the cloud, Kundra's credentials and stature as a proponent of cloud computing should give Salesforce.com a boost as the company looks to expand into new markets.

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

While the goal is to extend Salesforce.com into emerging markets, Kundra told The New York Times Monday that he will interact with all governments.

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Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on January 17, 2012


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