ExactTarget CEO Dorsey leaving company

ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey told employees in a memo Thursday night that he will leave the company this summer, around the one-year anniversary of the company's $2.5 billion purchase by Salesforce.com.

Dorsey, 46, who co-founded ExactTarget in 2000, will be succeeded by Scott McCorkle. McCorkle, 48, joined ExactTarget in 2005 and currently is its president of technology and strategy.

In the memo, Dorsey wrote: "As you might imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision. I have loved every minute of the last 14 years—and feel terrific about the future of the business.

"This is a great time to begin a new chapter—both for our company and for me personally. We have made enormous strides integrating our business with Salesforce over the last year—and Scott McCorkle … is absolutely the best leader on the planet to become our next CEO."

Dorsey had said in a memo to employees the day after last summer's acquisition announcement that he intended to stay with ExactTarget.

Since then, what Salesforce dubbed the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud has emerged as one of Salesforce’s key growth engines. Salesforce and its rivals are racing to capitalize as spending on digital marketing skyrockets. Gartner Research predicted two years ago that by 2017 chief marketing officers will have larger budgets than chief information officers.

Since the ExactTarget purchase closed last summer, San Francisco-based Salesforce has continued to invest in ExactTarget’s Indianapolis operations. More than 1,000 workers are spread between the Guaranty Building on Monument Circle, the Century Building at Pennsylvania and Maryland streets, and the Gibson Building at Michigan Street and Capitol Avenue.

IBJ reported in February that the company was evaluating downtown sites where it could build a headquarters tower as large as 500,000 square feet.

Dorsey is the fourth member of ExactTarget’s senior management team to announce departures since the acquisition closed. Chief Marketing Officer Tim Kopp left in December, and Chief Financial Officer Steve Collins and Chief Administrative Officer Traci Dolan stepped down earlier this year.

Dorsey said in the memo he will advise Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and McCorkle through the end of August, at which time he will leave the company.

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