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Dropbox Hires Its First Head of Sales, Longtime Microsoft Executive Thomas Hansen

Thomas Hansen's international experience made him a choice candidate for Dropbox.

Dropbox hasn’t been able to fill its head of product position yet, but that’s not stopping it from beefing up the rest of its ranks. It has created a new position — head of sales — and recruited long-time Microsoft exec Thomas Hansen to the role. Hansen will report to Dennis Woodside, Dropbox’s COO, and his official title will be “Global VP of Sales and Channels.”

Hansen has worked at Microsoft since 2001, most recently as a senior VP of its small and medium business products. Earlier in his time at the company, he traveled the globe as a regional manager for several different areas — Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean Islands and the French Pacific. Dropbox values his global experience as it seeks to turn its consumer base into Dropbox for Business customers. Seventy percent of Dropbox’s users are outside the U.S., so international growth is a key focus.

“This is just the beginning,” Hansen said in a statement to Re/code. “The cloud is truly transformational in its nature of democratizing technology for businesses, large and small.”

Before now, Dropbox sought to enter businesses the grassroots way, brought in by employees who use the service in their personal lives. But the creation of a head of sales position suggests that the company may be ready to double down on the sales approach, growing its employee base who pitch the product proactively to companies. It says it has 100,000 paying business customers with 6,000 more added every month, but won’t release revenue numbers.

The hire comes at a time when Dropbox is struggling to distinguish itself from other cloud storage and enterprise software competitors, one of which is Microsoft. It lost its head of product for business, Ilya Fushman, in May when he departed for Index Ventures. As Re/code reported, Neil Mohan strongly considered taking the general head of product job but eventually passed.

Dropbox has been on a hiring spree lately, appointing heads of trust and security, policy, tax, corporate law, commercial law and tech opps, as well as a new CFO.

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