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Thursday
Nov082012

How Heroku is Transforming Salesforce's Culture:

When Apple, Google, or any other big tech company in the industry acquires a startup, its culture usually vanishes into the big host. It could've easily gone that way for San Francisco's Heroku when it was acquired by the CRM giant Salesforce for over $200 million a couple of years ago. Left to maintain its own culture of yoga ping ball leadboard, Heroku has flourished under Salesforce. But what's more intriguing is that Heroku is exerting influence on its parent Salesforce!

But this has all been according to the plan, according to the COO of Heroku, Oren Teich, after surviving what he calls, "a $2.3 billion acquisition disaster of epic proportions" when Sun Microsystems acquired his former employer Cobalt Networks back in 2000. This time, Teich wanted to make sure things were entirely different when Salesforce approached them about the acquisition. "We negotiated a lot with Salesforce to keep Heroku's culture intact and thanks to that, the retention rate is obscene," he said. But the key to Heroku's culture, Vibe Managers (office managers with flare) have caught Salesforce's attention.

Vibe Manager Sharon Schmidt's duties have ranged from organizing bar outings for the team to finding an old TV to go with the vintage furniture in the office. "When we were acquired by Salesforce, there was some discussion of whether a Vibe Manager was too abstract and confusing for the employees, and if it could scale with the company.." Schmidt noted. "..It turns out that no one wants to see it go and now Salesforce wants to put Vibe Managers in their offices." The suits at Salesforce wouldn't comment on Vibe Manager becoming part of their culture, but it's a good question to ask whether Vibe Managers will actually survive under the decidedly unhip company --Salesforce. 

 

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