One of Silicon Valley’s most prominent names placed a lot of faith in ExactTarget Inc. CEO Scott Dorsey this year.
After paying $2.5 billion for the Indianapolis tech company, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff almost immediately put Dorsey in charge of its marketing cloud, one of four main divisions at the San Francisco-based cloud software giant.
Dorsey, an Indiana University business graduate, earned an MBA from Northwestern University in 1999, and started ExactTarget a year later with brother-in-law Chris Baggott and business partner Peter McCormick.
The group used $200,000 from friends and family to start an email-marketing software firm in a Greenfield business park.
By the time Salesforce bought the company, Dorsey was in charge of a 1,700-employee, globalcompany with almost $300 million in annual revenue.
The rich price swelled the value of stock options held by ExactTarget employees to nearly $300 million. Dorsey himself held stock options worth about $28 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
In addition to overseeing the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Dorsey and his team are in charge of three other marketing technology companies Salesforce has acquired: Radian6, Buddy Media and Social.com.
Salesforce’s decision to put ExactTarget in charge of its marketing cloud places Dorsey on top of one of the company’s most aggressive areas of business. Marketing has become one of the hottest markets for the technology sector since Gartner Research projected that chief marketing officers would spend more than chief information officers on technology by 2017.