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ExactTarget sells for eye-popping $2.5 billion

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Newsmakers
2013 NEWSMAKER: Scott Dorsey 2013 NEWSMAKER: Andrew Luck 2013 Newsmakers: Tony Bennett
                              &<br />Glenda Ritz 2013 NEWSMAKER: Mitch Daniels 2013 NEWSMAKER: Joe Swedish
yir-exacttarget-1col.jpg ExactTarget didn't stay public for long, attracting a huge buyout in 2013. (IBJ file photo)

ExactTarget Inc. sold for more than $2.5 billion after a bidding war among some of Silicon Valley’s biggest players.

Salesforce.com, the cloud-computing software giant based in San Francisco, beat out at least three other undisclosed suitors in June by offering a hefty 53-percent premium on ExactTarget’s publicly traded shares, barely a year after the Indianapolis digital marketer’s stock market debut.

The deal capped one of the city’s favorite success stories, which began in 2000, when brothers-in-law Scott Dorsey and Chris Baggott teamed with Peter McCormick.

The trio started selling email-marketing software out of a Greenfield business park. The firm, now headquartered in downtown Indianapolis, broadened its products to other digital marketing services over the years and acquired several smaller businesses. By the time Salesforce closed the ExactTarget deal in July, the company had grown to 1,800 employees worldwide, with more than 1,000 people working locally.

The multi-billion-dollar deal, combined with generous benefits that gave stock options to all employees, has local tech leaders predicting an entrepreneurial flurry over the next several years.

Executives have tried to assuage some concerns about ExactTarget’s future in Indianapolis, publicly saying Salesforce intends to invest in its new subsidiary. The company lists 47 local job openings, and it recently leased an additional two floors in the Century Building, one of its downtown outposts.

Salesforce spent the latter half of the year trumpeting its purchase. That included placing Dorsey and his executive team in charge of Salesforce’s entire marketing cloud, one of the company’s four main divisions. In a gesture of its confidence, Salesforce named the business unit the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.
 

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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