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Salesforce’s Top Platform Exec Heads for the Exit

FinancialForce CEO Tod NielsenFinancialForce CEO Tod Nielsen
FinancialForce CEO Tod NielsenHeroku

Tod Nielsen, the executive vice president in charge of Salesforce’s platform development strategy, is moving on at the end of the month, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Adam Seligman, a company veteran, is the new executive vice president and general manager of Saleforce’s App Cloud, a spokesman said. The spokesman subsequently added that while Nielsen is no longer head of platforms, he is technically still with the company working on special projects.

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Nielsen has held executive roles at Microsoft (MSFT), BEA, Oracle (ORCL), Borland, and VMware (VMW).

San Francisco-based Salesforce (CRM) co-founded by chief executive Marc Benioff, has been trying to balance two distinct software development platforms. The first is, initially pitched as the go-to platform for developing in-house enterprise applications that run with the company’s flagship customer relationship management (CRM) software. Secondly there is Heroku, which Salesforce bought five years ago and has been well received by startups and web-centric companies. Heroku is more about consumer-facing web applications.

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Last fall, the CRM giant introduced App Cloud as an option to bridge those worlds. Salesforce’s promise was that developers could use either Heroku or Force services—or both—to build software going forward, saving customers from having to worry what was going on behind the scenes.

Read more: Salesforce App Cloud Aims to Meld Heroku, clouds

Thus, Nielsen’s departure, first reported by The Information, raises concerns that Salesforce is switching up its platform strategy.

Note: This story was updated at 2:28 p.m. EDT to add Salesforce’s comment that Nielsen is still working on special projects.