Salesforce poached a key Microsoft exec that competed with its main business

Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Business Insider

Salesforce has poached a key executive from Microsoft: the guy that was running Microsoft Dynamics, the product that directly competes with Salesforce’s bread-and-butter product “customer relationship management.”

Bob Stutz, who has run Microsoft Dynamics for the past 3.5 years, has been hired away.

The news tha Stutz had left was first revealed by MSDynamics World’s Jason Gumpert on Monday.

Stutz made it sound like he was leaving to travel the world in this tweet:

But he really got hired away by a competitor. Microsoft Dynamics will now be run by Jujhar Singh, a long-time, key member of the team, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie said. 

 Salesforce has confirmed to Business Insider (and also Re/Code’s Arik Hesseldahl and to ZDNet’s Larry Dignan) that Stutz is its new Chief Analytics Officer, reporting to president of products Alex Dayon. 

Dayon says, “We’re thrilled that Bob Stutz will be joining Salesforce as Chief Analytics Officer. Bob not only has deep enterprise software experience, he’s also a proven leader who’ll drive the vision and execution for the Analytics Cloud as we build it into a billion dollar business for Salesforce.”

Analytics Cloud is one of Salesforce’s key new products and this is a significant coup for Salesforce.

Rocky relationship

If you recall, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly attempted to buy Salesforce earlier this year (when Stutz was running Dynamics) but the talks fizzled because Benioff kept raising the price, reportedly up to $US70 billion at one point.

Bob Stutz
Bob Stutz Twitter/Bob Stutz

The two companies have since been having a public love-fest while privately competing as ruthlessly as ever.

The two rivals become closer shortly after Nadella took over the job as CEO.

Nadella let Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff poach another Microsoft employee, a technical engineer, to help Salesforce run its infrastructure.

Benioff and Nadella were having dinner and talking about a potential partnership and Benioff asked Nadella to let him hire the employee away as a good-faith gesture, as Benioff tells the story.

On the other hand, when the acquisition talks failed, Microsoft stepped up the competition against Salesforce and, under Stutz, was having some success.

Rumour was that Microsoft stopped being terribly cooperative with Salesforce in their announced partnership to make their products work better together, too.

This hire could be Salesforce’s way of punching back.

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