Two more executives — Joshua Porter, director of UX, and Keith Frankel, head of creative and design, are leaving HubSpot, in news first reported by BetaBoston and confirmed by the company.
The timing is tricky for the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based marketing automation vendor. News of the departures comes about a month before HubSpot’s annual Inbound customer conference and ahead of an expected IPO. And it comes a week after the company acknowledged that David Cancel, its chief product officer and Elias Torres, VP of engineering, are also taking their talents elsewhere.
HubSpot spokeswoman Katie Burke said occasional departures of employees “to start or focus on their own companies” are not unusual for a company she said is growing at a “rapid clip.”
Still, HubSpot is in an interesting spot. It’s unclear what the exits of critical employees mean for the company’s planned IPO. I would imagine that bankers would have questions, especially, about Cancel and Torres. Both those execs, along with Porter, came to HubSpot via Performable, a company HubSpot acquired for $20 million in 2011 for its marketing automation expertise.
HubSpot is one of a few remaining independent marketing automation companies after a flurry of acquisitions that saw many competitors snapped up by gigantic software companies over the past few years.
The list is long: IBM bought Silverpop and Unica; Salesforce.com, which is a Hubspot investor, purchased Buddy Media, ExactTarget and Radian6; Oracle snapped up Responsys, BlueKai and Eloqua; Adobe Systems grabbed Omniture, Scene7 and Neolane. All of these deals were made in service of building full-featured, integrated marketing clouds. Marketo, another independent, is now public.
The mega-software players feel that the marketing automation market is growing like gangbusters, and marketing execs have more discretionary spending. A rising tide lifts all … well, you know.
In theory, these marketing clouds will provide ad agencies and media properties — actually, any business that needs to promote, market and sell stuff — all the tools needed to create multi-channel (email, mobile, web) marketing campaigns that target the most receptive potential buyers. That means, in theory, that we won’t all be spammed to death.