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IPO-Bound Box Hires Cloud Chief Graham Younger Away From SAP

The head of SuccessFactors will take over Box's global sales organization.

Cloud storage and collaboration company Box has poached a senior executive from the ranks of software giant SAP.

Graham Younger, who runs SAP’s SuccessFactors unit, will join Box as executive VP for worldwide field operations. Box CEO Aaron Levie will announce the move in a blog post this morning. (Update: Here it is.)

Levie said Younger will take charge of Box’s fast-growing sales force. Box is growing internationally, Levie said in an interview, and has an opportunity to convert a lot of its international free users to paid users. “Graham is a quintessential fit for what we’re looking for and where we want to take our sales organization,” he said.

“We want to reach into a lot of different vertical industries, and we also want to get more aggressive with international sales. More than 50 percent of our activity takes place outside the U.S., but we make only about 15 percent of our revenue internationally,” he added.

Younger, who will move from Dallas to Box’s HQ in Los Altos, Calif., joined SuccessFactors in the summer of 2011, only four months before it was acquired by SAP in a $3.4 billion deal that kicked off a series of acquisitions in the cloud-based human resources space. SuccessFactors is now a big piece of SAP’s cloud business, which includes Ariba, another cloud software company SAP bought in 2012. SAP reported 975 million euro ($1.3 billion) in cloud revenue in 2013 or nearly six percent of its sales overall.

Younger stayed on after SuccessFactors founder Lars Dalgaard left the company to join venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Before SuccessFactors, Younger did two stints at Oracle, and also worked for Amdocs, Tibco and IBM.

Box is steadily approaching an initial public offering that is expected this year. In December it closed a $100 million funding round led by a quartet of international investors including Telefonica in Europe, Japan’s Mitsui and Australia-based Telestra. The round valued Box at about $2 billion. Last year Levie said Box’s annual sales were on pace to top $100 million, roughly double that of the previous year.

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