That was fast. After only two years, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has decided to leave Cisco’s board of directors, according to documents filed with the SEC.
He joined the board on August 1, 2012 and will not to stand for re-election when Cisco holds its annual shareholder’s meeting on November 20, 2014.
That’s a loss for Cisco. Benioff is known as a cloud computing visionary and that’s expertise that Cisco could use as it develops more hardware products for cloud companies and as it spends $1 billion on its smart-but-risky “Intercloud” project.
Intercloud is the cloud Cisco is building to compete with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP, IBM, and all the other enterprise tech companies. It will be an interconnected network of clouds with its customers who are Internet and telecom service providers. That’s a similar model to its close-partner-turned-competitor VMware has done with vCloud.
But Benioff has his hands full with Salesforce.com and his philanthropic efforts. Salesforce.com is the 15-year-old company that he co-founded that has really started to take off, including massive expansion plans in San Francisco and Europe. When not working on that, Benioff is building a children’s hospital in San Francisco, running SF Gives, an effort to get Valley tech companies to support Bay Area charities, among other activities.
Cisco has decided to cut its board down from 14 members to 10. We reached out to Cisco for comment and will update when we hear back.