After Accel nabbed Salesforce exec and Chatter creator Chuck Ganapathi as EIR a few months ago, another Salesforce exec is heading to the venture world. Craig Weissman, Salesforce’s former CTO, is joining Benchmark Capital as its latest Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Weissman, whose focus on Benchmark will be in the enterprise and big data space, has been working in enterprise software for the past 16 years. For the past eight years, Weissman has been a key engineering lead for the CRM giant, joining the company when it only had 10 developers in 2002.
As CTO, Weissman oversaw the technical direction of all of Salesforce.com’s products including the enterprise Cloud Computing platform Force.com as well as the company’s other products Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Database.com, and Chatter. In fact, Weissman says he built much of Force.com.
Prior to Salesforce, Weissman worked at data warehousing and enterprise company Epiphany, He was one of the early engineers and was the architect of the company’s metadata and configuration system and a designer of its query engine. In fact, it was Weissman’s work at Epiphany that first caught Benchmark General Partner Peter Fenton’s eye.
Fenton says that for the EIR position, the firm is bullish on bringing in great technical, hungry founders and talent and providing them with the autonomy and resources to create a company of importance. For example, current Facebook CTO and former Googler Brett Taylor was an EIR at Benchmark when he began to develop FriendFeed.
Fenton says that Weissman fits this mold perfectly, brining extensive insight into the architectures of software and modern cloud-based applications. Not only will Weissman be able to create a valuable new company, he explains, but his experience and knowledge will also be immediately valuable to the majority of our portfolio companies.
As for what Weissman plans to develop, he says that as a “data guy” he’s inherently interested in exploring how companies can use data more strategically. “There’s a new class of applications based on data warehousing technology, and most enterprise software revolves around a database,” he explains. There are a number of areas where innovation is possible, says Weissman, including where this data is located and what will allow the enterprise to process massive amounts of data.
Specifically, Weissman says that he is intrigued by the vertical approach to creating a company, and is exploring ways in which these data technologies can be used in particular areas of the enterprise.