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Jive Software, a company that builds social networking tools for businesses, just announced that it’s looking for a new chief executive.
Dave Hersh, the outgoing CEO, is switching roles to become Portland, Ore.-based Jive’s chairman of the board, where he will take a less hands-on role in managing the company. Board member Tony Zingale is taking over as interim CEO while Jive looks for a permanent replacement. Zingale’s past experience includes serving as president and CEO of Mercury Interactive.
Some big competitors are entering the enterprise-social-networking market, and Salesforce.com has announced a business social networking tool called Chatter. But Jive has been one of the most prominent companies in this industry, thanks initially to backing from well-known venture firm Sequoia Capital. The company says there are now”literally millions” of people using Jive at any one time, and that it counts about 500 global brands among its customers. Jive says it is cash-flow positive, with revenue increasing 85 percent, year-over-year, in 2009.
Jive is also increasing its presence in Silicon Valley, building its staff in the region from four to 36 people in a little more than eight months.
In the company’s press release, Hersh said the move should put “a leadership structure in place that could maximize Jive’s opportunity.” Asked why he’s making the switch to chairman now, instead of waiting for a permanent replacement, he said, “I didn’t want to wait. It’s so important for me to spend time focusing on finding this next CEO, and I honestly couldn’t do that and the CEO job at the same time.”
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