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Doyle departs as Salesnet CEO

Former Applix chief, Alan Goldsworthy, to take the helm amidst strong growth from Salesnet competitors.

Salesnet CEO Mike Doyle has stepped down from the company he helped build, and Alan Goldsworthy, previously CEO...

of Applix Inc., in Westborough, Mass., has taken over to lead the sales force automation vendor to "the next step."

"Mike's been a great advocate," Goldsworthy said. "Quite honestly, he wanted to go off and do some other things. I'm here to take us to the next level of growth."

Goldsworthy faces some stiff competition in the hosted SFA market. In the past year, both San Francisco's Salesforce.com and RightNow Technologies Inc. in Bozeman, Mont., have filed for initial public offerings (IPOs). Meanwhile, San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel Systems Inc. announced an initiative to invest heavily in marketing its hosted application.

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"They are definitely right now kind of an underdog," said Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB insights and business solutions for Access Markets International Partners Inc., of New York. "[Goldsworthy's] knowledgeable about the industry and CRM. This test is something new. Can he really build this company with the competition out there?"

Just last week, Salesforce.com announced it had signed up 1,500 subscribers from Staples Inc., in Framingham, Mass. Staples has long been touted by Salesnet as a premier enterprise customer.

Goldsworthy said Boston-based Salesnet is still "a ways" from its own IPO.

"That's one of their challenges," McCabe said. "They're going to have to figure out a way to open up enough to give enough visibility and show how competitive they are."

Goldsworthy said he hopes to leverage the company's OEM agreements. Salesnet's first OEM was with Encoda Systems, a Denver-based software maker that serves the cable TV industry recently purchased by the Harris Corp. The partnership integrates Salesnet's SFA with Encoda's billing system.

OEMs are a growing business for Salesnet, and the company will have a new private label version at the beginning of 2005, Goldsworthy said. In fact, Goldsworthy postponed a press tour about his appointment and other product news to speak with the company's resellers and OEM partners.

Before becoming Applix's CEO, Goldsworthy was the president and CEO of CMI-Competitive Solutions Inc., a Michigan-based ERP software vendor for automotive suppliers and worked at Digital Equipment Corp. for 15 years. Goldsworthy wrote his first commercial software in 1975. He said the primary difference between himself and Doyle is that he's "a technologist by background," Goldsworthy said.

Doyle joined Salesnet in 2000 after founding an assisted living and long-term care facility he took public in 1992.

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