Mergers & Acquisitions and Public Companies and Takeovers and ExactTarget and Deals and E-mail and Manufacturing & Technology and Technology

Salesforce to keep ExactTarget independent, 'invest' in it

June 5, 2013

ExactTarget Inc. is expected to remain an independent organization headquartered in Indianapolis, CEO Scott Dorsey affirmed Tuesday in a memo to employees.

The Indianapolis-based email and social media marketing firm agreed to sell itself to San Francisco-based Salesforce.com for $2.5 billion in cash. The deal, announced Tuesday, is expected to close in late July.

ExactTarget employs more than 1,000 of its 1,800 workers here in Indianapolis, and has even promised state and local officials it would add 500 more workers locally by the end of 2018. Analysts noted that ExactTarget’s administrative personnel, such as human resources and accounting employees, might be cut back by Salesforce.com.

But Dorsey tried to emphasize the importance of ExactTarget’s team to Salesforce.com’s future success and that Salesforce intends to invest in the team here.

“Our teams and the innovations we deliver from Indianapolis and around the world will play an incredibly strategic role in salesforce.com’s realizing its vision for the Marketing Cloud,” Dorsey wrote to employees in an email, which was disclosed in a securities filing.

“Salesforce.com is committed to preserving our autonomy and will continue to invest in our team to capitalize on the multi-billion-dollar global market opportunity ahead of us,” he added.

Dorsey also noted that he will continue to lead ExactTarget and will report directly to Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, rather than reporting through one of Salesforce's other division presidents.

“Together,” Dorsey said of he and Benioff, “we will execute on our shared vision.”

That vision is to make Salesforce.com the world’s top company for customer-relationship management software. ExactTarget brings a strength in marketing that Salesforce.com has lacked so far.

If Salesforce does decide to reduce the size of ExactTarget’s team in Indianapolis, it will have convenient opportunities to do so in the not-too-distant future. The lease on ExactTarget’s headquarters in the Guaranty Building on Monument Circle expires in 2016, according to a securities filing. The company occupies 66,500 square feet there.

ExactTarget also leases nearly 49,000 square feet in the Gibson Building, 433 N. Capitol Ave., which is the home of the company’s technology teams. The lease on that space expires in 2018.

ExactTarget’s services and customer-relationship teams are housed in 70,200 square feet in the Century Building, 36 S. Pennsylvania St. That lease does not expire until 2021. ExactTarget also has a small amount of space in a Castleton-area office building, where its iGoDigital subsidiary is housed.

ExactTarget has considered options to consolidate its workers into one location, according to several local real estate professionals.

But ExactTarget’s real estate broker, Jenna Barnett, president of Newman Knight Frank Halakar in Indianapolis, said, “there’s no plans for that right now.”

Graham Smith, Salesforce.com’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call Tuesday that Salesforce.com would look to reduce expenses by integrating the back-office finance and human resources functions of the two companies and “rationalizing where we can with real estate.”

That last comment came as Smith was discussing the companies' foreign locations. ExactTarget has offices in Toronto, London, Munich, Paris, Stockhom, Melbourne, Sidney, Singapore and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Salesforce.com also has many locations in Europe and Asia, but not in Brazil.

In the United States, ExactTarget has offices in Atlanta, New York, and Seattle, and in San Francisco, where Salesforce.com is based.

 

 
 

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