An Atlanta marketing automation provider that caters to mid-size B2B companies has a new CEO for the second time in 18 months.

Salesfusion named former Oracle tech and marketing executive Carol O’Kelley as its new chief executive this week. She replaces Christian Nahas, who was appointed Salesfusion's CEO in September 2013.

O'Kelley's appointment at a time when close to 2,000 marketing technology vendors are vying for market share. Nine-year-old Salesfusion is fighting for a piece of that pie. It has a thumbs up from at least one well-recognized analyst firm.

Marketing Expertise

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Nahas apparently left amicably. He told CMSWire that he still in contact with company leadership and will continue to engage with the company on request.

"I wish the team at Salesfusion all the best," Nahas said. "The value they are bringing to the mid-market B2B customer with industry leading marketing solutions is unmatched."

He described O'Kelley as "a strong leader with a solid CV," who will "lead the company well through a crowded space and into its next phase of growth."

O'Kelley said Nahas doubled sales during his tenure and grew the company's international business.

"In all fairness I didn't work with Christian, and I can only tell you what I've been told -- he was the right guy at the right time," O'Kelley said.

O'Kelley attributes her appointment to her strong marketing background.

"We have a vision of building marketing automation solutions for marketers by marketers," O'Kelley said. "This was the time to make that shift."

Road Ahead

Under Nahas, Salesfusion bought LoopFuse to boost its platform with social listening tools. Forrester analyst Lori Wizdo said, during his tenure, that Salesfusion had strong capabilities for managing the later stages of the lead-to-revenue funnel.

O'Kelley said Salesfusion will make some "very aggressive" platform updates in the next few months. Salesfusion reported that its investors responded to O’Kelley’s appointment by extending $5 million in additional funding to the company.

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O'Kelley said the Salesfusion platform has a "very comprehensive suite of functionality."

"I've been impressed with how easy it is to use and more intuitive than solutions I've used in past lives as a marketer," she said.

Salesfusion has a CRM-style data model and pre-built integrations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Infor CRM, Sage, SugarCRM and Salesforce.com. The company has a staff of nearly 100 and has doubled in size year over year for five consecutive years.

O'Kelley's Past

O'Kelley has a background in marketing, software and growing companies from startups to global businesses, Salesfusion claims.

“Having a CEO with Carol’s marketing credentials aligns with the board’s vision of creating a marketing technology company built around the needs of the marketer,” Alan Taetle, general partner at Noro-Moseley, the lead investor in Salesfusion, said in a statement.

O’Kelley was executive vice president and chief marketing officer of RedPrairie, vice president and chief of staff of Oracle’s global business unit for retail and director of corporate and Americas marketing at Manhattan Associates.