Silicon Valley: The Movers and Shakers in Marketing

By Jim Lundy

When it comes to technology executives, the focus is often on the C-Level, but they have a ton of people that make them look good. There are new movers and shakers in Silicon Valley, particularly at the marketing level. We interact with many people and as time moves on, people move up the chain.

This blog is about a few of the up-and-comers in Silicon Valley—some talented people who recently made a change. These are executives to watch, particularly since the tenure for many current CMOs in Silicon Valley is so short.

Kim DeCarlis – BMC Software

Kim DeCarlis is the VP of Worldwide Marketing at BMC Software. Kim joined BMC recently after a very successful stint at Citrix in Santa Clara.  If there is anyone who is battle-tested in Silicon Valley, it is Kim DeCarlis (formerly Kim Woodward).

I worked with Kim when she was at Xerox and watched as she went on to work at a variety of firms, including EMC/Documentum, Saba, and most recently at Citrix. Kim put her experience to work at Citrix and she may not have gotten all the credit for all the hard work she did there. Rest assured, it is a gain for BMC and we know we will see big things from Kim while she is there.

Julie O’Brien – Good Technology

Julie O’Brien just became the VP of Corporate Marketing at Good Technology, one of the Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) vendors who was recently named a Leader in our Aragon Research Globe for EMM. Before Good, Julie did a stint at Box as Head of Industry Solutions in the Box Enterprise Group.

At Box, Julie was tireless in pushing the envelope in rounding out a number of Box Industry solutions. Julie was a true evangelist there and gave up many Sundays to travel to Box events. (I know this because I would see her at the airport.) Before Box, she did various marketing jobs at Cisco, which has proven itself as a place that many marketing pros in Silicon Valley get their start.

Of course, at Good, Julie gets to work with the talented CMO Lynn Lucas, who she also worked with at Cisco.

Brad Simmons – FuzeBox

Brad Simmons is the new VP of Marketing at FuzeBox, one of the real-time collaboration providers that is making a strong play to disrupt the web and video conferencing market (see our Aragon Research Globe for Real-time Collaboration).

Brad only recently joined FuzeBox, but we have already seen an impact and we expect to see more as he ramps up the marketing initiatives there. Brad came to FuzeBox from Inflection and has had key marketing roles at Inflection, PageOnce, and Experian.


Dee Anna McPherson – HootSuite

Dee Anna McPherson is the VP of Marketing at HootSuite, the rising social marketing firm that last week received a whopping $165 million in Series B VC funding.

Dee Anna came to HootSuite from Yammer, where she helped lead the charge to coin the term ESN (Enterprise Social Networking). Her efforts there helped to put Yammer on the map and led to the buyout $1.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Having spent time with Dee Anna, my take is that she did some heavy lifting at Yammer, but she made it look easy.

Dee Anna has been in public relations (Horn Group and Edelman) and in technology. She started out early in her career at PeopleSoft where she worked for none other than Silicon Valley legend Kara Wilson.

Dayle Hall – Lithium

Dayle Hall recently became  the VP of Brand and Digital Marketing at Lithium Technologies, one of the pioneers in external customer communities. Dayle was recently at Aruba Networks and he helped to lead the charge in the development of their AirHeads Customer Community.

Customer Communities are hard to take to the viral adoption level (particularly with developers) and that is something Dayle did extremely well at Aruba. While only at Lithium for a short time, we’ve already noticed a surge in marketing activity.

As with Julie O’Brien, Dayle is a Cisco veteran, so it is no surprise that he knows what it takes to execute world-class marketing initiatives. Dayle gets to work with one of our favorites, Lithium CMO Katy Keim.

Emily He – Saba

Emily He is the SVP of Marketing at Saba. She has been at Saba for several years and recently took the helm to run marketing there.

Saba has had a number of changes in marketing and one of the things we see in Emily is that she has gotten Saba back on message for its Learning and Talent Management heritage.

One of the interesting things about Emily is her background. She grew up in China, but came to the U.S. for college and graduate school. She earned her stripes during the growth phases at Siebel Systems, which was known for executing some of the best marketing campaigns during their heyday.


Holly Simmons – SAP

Holly Simmons is the VP of Marketing for Social Software at SAP. Holly has been at SAP for a while and was one of the pioneers in SAP’s early efforts in social. She is helping to lead the charge in SAP’s current efforts in the SAP Jam product area.

Initiating change at a large technology provider is hard—probably harder than at a startup. Going social at SAP has been no easy feat, particularly since there were multiple product lines after  SAP bought SuccessFactors. We have seen some significant moves by SAP in the social collaboration area with a lot of traction building for SAP Jam.  Much of this is due to efforts by Holly and her manager, Sameer Patel.

Milind Pansare – Spigit

Milind Pansare is the VP of Product Marketing at Spigit, one of the leading innovation management software firms. Spigit is changing the way enterprises manage and drive Innovation. Before Spigit, Milind was at Saba where he helped to lead their efforts to launch their social platform, as well as reinvigorate their Saba Meetings offering.

Milind is no stranger to technology, having spent years at Sun Microsystems in a variety of roles.  At Spigit, Milind  is helping to drive their growth. Spigit had a very successful event earlier this year and it had some of the best discussions we have ever seen on innovating in a digital era. Milind helped to execute that event.

Of course, Milind gets to work with Spigit’s CMO, Shail Khiyara who also helped drive the growth and success at Taleo.

Silicon Valley: The Sky Is the Limit

This list is some, but not all of the Marketing Movers and Shakers in Silicon Valley. We will be adding to the list on a regular basis.