The Stack

Adrian McDermott appointed CTO at Zendesk amid C-suite shakeup

Zendesk veteran and FireEye Board of Directors member Adrian McDermott has been promoted from president of products to Zendesk CTO as part of sweeping C-suite shakeup that also saw the San Francisco-based CRM company hire former Outcast CEO Alex Constantinople as CMO, and add Brandon Gayle of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, as well as Netflix lead designer Steve Johnson to its board of directors.

The move comes as Zendesk, which names Discord, Slack, Shopify and Zoom among its marquee customers, hit $1 billion in revenues in 2020 — up 26% on 2019, although it remains loss-making — as it continues to take a growing bite out of a sales CRM and customer service software market via a range of open platforms after radically simplifying its pricing plans and rolling out a new messaging solution.

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McDermott led that project, noting in February that “companies cannot take customer loyalty for granted, and [keep] using outdated, expensive enterprise software that takes months to get up and running.”

He has also been heavily involved in the company’s 2018 launch of the AWS-based CRM Zendesk Sunshine that lets developers build and deploy cloud-native custom apps and services — a key growth market as companies aim to pull in diverse data sources to build more 360 views of their customers; and look to do so with minimal appetite for wrangling with legacy CRM systems’ sclerotic codebases.

Constantinople, who led technology marketing company Outcast as CEO for 10 years, will join the company as CMO on May 10. New board members Gayle and Johnson joined its Board of Directors March 31. Zendesk’s current CMO Jeff Titterton becomes COO. Gayle is EVP of Revenue, Brand and Communications for Spurs Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. Johnson is currently VP of User Experience at Netflix, and prior to this has designed experiences for Electronic Arts, Adobe and LinkedIn.

Publicly listed Zendesk employs more than 4,000 people across the world and boasts 170,000 paying customers.

See also: NY Fed CIO Pam Dyson on digital transformation at the bank

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