Salesforce names Adam Blitzer as the new CEO of Marketing Cloud

Salesforce is announcing that it has appointed Adam Blitzer as the new CEO of Marketing Cloud.

Marketing Cloud is Salesforce's suite of digital marketing tools, built around the company's acquisition of ExactTarget back in 2013. That acquisition is what brought Blitzer to Salesforce — he co-founded marketing automation startup Pardot, which was acquired by ExactTarget the year before the Salesforce deal.

Blitzer recalled the insanity of going through the Pardot acquisition while also having a one-month-old baby: "I was traveling all the time ... but I had a great, built-in excuse that I was never going to go through one of these again. Ten seconds later, we sold ExactTarget to Salesforce."

Since then, Blitzer has overseen Salesforce's Sales Cloud and Service Cloud before taking over as Marketing Cloud CEO last month. (The previous Marketing Cloud CEO Bob Stutz is now at SAP.) Salesforce is making the official announcement today, ahead of its Dreamforce conference in a couple of weeks.

It sounds like Blitzer's immediate focus is the customer data platform that Salesforce plans to launch next year, designed to help marketers unify their customer data. He told me the CDP is a "key pillar" of the Marketing Cloud strategy, particularly in a fragmented landscape where a marketer is confronted with "7,000 logos."

He added, "We don’t have to do 7,000 things — we can be the hub of marketing for our customers," creating the "single source of truth" for customer data that's used across a variety of products.

Blitzer also said he sees an opportunity to grow the use of Salesforce's Einstein AI in digital marketing. And while the company's biggest strength has been in business-to-business marketing, Blitzer said he'll be working on "bringing that together with all our [consumer marketing]-focused solutions" — particularly since "many, many consumer goods companies have traditionally been B2B, sold through distributors" but are now facing competition from direct-to-consumer brands.

Asked whether he's looking to expand the Marketing Cloud through more acquisitions, Blitzer deflected, saying that's a question for the acquisitions team — his role is focused on "organic" growth of the products that Salesforce already owns.

"One of the things I love in taking over this role is the adoption of multiple products by customers," Blitzer said. "Probably in a distant past, it was see a nail, hit a nail — where they have an email marketing problem, I need an email marketing solution. Certainly, coming into this role, it's [now] about owning the customer experience."