Salesforce to keep ExactTarget independent, 'invest' in it

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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.




  • Out of ETs Control
    Its all fine and dandy for ExactTargets Scott Dorsey to tout "everything is gonna stay independent AND in Indianapolis" BUT since he no longer owns it, its completely out of his control, if SalesForce has 2 quarters of poor growth guaranteed they will cut ET to the bone. Why have duplicate efforts, and also to "promise the city" it will create 500 more jobs in almost a death sentence or complete arrogance in my opinion. Good luck but if I worked there I would be updating my resume cause the fattened calf is about to be slaughtered.
  • did its job
    Haha! We just dipped our toe in the pond but Pippa Mann was the right choice and the Dale Coyne cars are running well. F1 has an audience of the people who build cities. LC has huge traction and we're just getting started. Development in San Diego and Palo Alto for the reasons you described below.
  • LumenCache
    Nice website Derek. I like the concept behind LumenCache. You may have a home run. That said, I hope you didn't pay much for your IndyCar advertising. The race pulled a 3.7, Dude. That's JudgeJudy territory!
    • We ain't goin nowhere ;) We Promise!
      "Possibly what Salesforce.com has figured out is that Indy is a very good location to run programming out because the climate" I work with developers across the country, and most will go anywhere but the Midwest. There's a reason nobody from Google to Facebook to Twitter to you name it has a presence here. Very soon, ET will be gone as well. At least we'll still have Angie's Lisp.
    • ET's Support is covered 24/7/365
      ET's Global Support Team's are in Indianapolis, London, & Melbourne which allows them to have coverage 24/7/365.
    • Seattle
      All of the times I've been in Seattle/Redmond, it's never been overcast, let alone rained!
    • Cities with employees
      I know they're likely not employees, but has ET stopped using India for after-hours support? (cliche aside)
    • Indy is Seattle
      Possibly what Salesforce.com has figured out is that Indy is a very good location to run programming out because the climate, like Seattle for Microsoft, tends to keep the staff at work, while in SanFran there are too many distractions. If that is what it is, then they are smart. If they are just telling a story while they pack it up and move it out, then shame on them. But as Forest Gump once said...
      • feeding frenzy
        Big mergers and takeovers are tough. The whole reason is to take the revenue and eliminate duplicated costs, which is the only explanation for paying so much for a company that lost money last few years. Good for us growing startups to have great people available! Any awesome people looking to grow the next big thing here in Indy can look at LumenCache. I need someone to manage the client experience and ExactTarget people know how to do that. Sorry for blatantly feeding on the carnage :-)

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