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Marketo Has Enlisted This Former SAP Exec as Its New CEO

October 27, 2016, 6:00 PM UTC
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Phil Fernandez, the founder of marketing automation software pioneer Marketo, is ceding his CEO position two months after the company was taken private by Vista Equity in a $1.8 billion deal.

His replacement is Steve Lucas, a former SAP (SAP) and (CRM) executive who has extensive experience in selling data analytics, cloud services, database, and mobile applications. Lucas’ most recent position was president of enterprise platform and analytics at SAP.

The management change is effective November 1, and it underscores the company’s interest in winning over larger customers.

“I am excited to join the company as Marketo accelerates its growth through enterprise expansion, its unprecedented next-generation marketing platform, and its robust partner ecosystem,” said Lucas in a statement.

Marketo got its start selling business software to small and midsize businesses, as well as within departments at larger companies. For the past 18 months, however, it has been pushing—and winning—company-wide contracts for its marketing software in collaboration with systems integrators such as Accenture. The company currently has about 5,000 customers including McKesson (MCK), Panasonic (PCRFY), and Sony (SNE).

But big rivals like Salesforce and Oracle (ORCL) are using cutthroat pricing to impede Marketo’s progress in marketing cloud applications. The company accepted a buyout offer from Vista Equity in May.

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Prior to his latest role at SAP, Lucas was a senior vice president at Salesforce, where he led marketing and strategy for the company’s application development business.

Fernandez’s post-Marketo plans were not immediately disclosed.