Yammer founder David Sacks leaves Microsoft

Microsoft bought enterprise social networking company Yammer for $1.2 billion two years ago

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 25, 2014
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(Updated with comment from Microsoft)

It's been just over two years since Microsoft bought enterprise social networking company Yammer for $1.2 billion in June of 2012. It may not seem like that much time, but it has been enough for the company's founder and CEO, who will now be moving on.

David Sacks announced via Twitter on Thursday that, after six years with Yammer, he wants to do something else with his time.

Sacks also wrote a memo to Microsoft employees, obtained by VentureBeat, in which he talked about the evolution of the company, from a tiny start up to one making "multi-million dollar deals across the globe."

"Today, thousands of companies are using social to transform their organizations, and consumerization is a major trend in enterprise software. So our original beliefs are no longer controversial," he wrote. "This stands not in contravention of the work we did, but as the ultimate testament to it. We all know how hard it was to get here."

He also says, essentially, that he feels confident leaving Yammer now because it is in the hands of Microsoft. Over the last couple of year, Yammer has become more integrated into the company, becoming a part of Office 365 and recently signing a deal with Tesco to bring 250,000 new users on board. The company is now in a secure enough where Sacks feels like he can finally leave it behind.

"Yammer has also made a huge impact on Microsoft’s leadership in cloud, influencing how Microsoft builds software for the cloud-first, mobile-first, data-driven world, and this focus will only accelerate with the changes Satya is driving."

Of course, as you'd expect, leaving won't be easy for  him.

"Moving on from a company one’s founded is always bittersweet, but I will always be proud of what we did together. I look back at those years we spent building as the most fulfilling time of my life," Sacks wrote. "

"I am grateful that all of our hard work will continue to live on in the product long after I am gone. I hope future generations of employees will not only continue our mission but stay connected to the founding generation and the values and ideals it represents."

Founded in 2008, Yammer raised around $142 million from VCs such as DFJ Growth, SOcial+Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Capricorn Investment Group LLC, the investment arm of Jeff Skoll, Khosla Ventures, Crunchfund, Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital, Founders Fund and U.S. Venture Partners before being purchased.

Prior to founding Yammer, Sacks was a member of the so-called "PayPal Mafia" where he was Chief Operating Officer. In Vator's PayPal Mafia doppelganger game, he was the Most Interesting Man in the World.

“We thank David for his commitment to Yammer and Microsoft and wish him the best in his future endeavors. Yammer has grown tremendously since the acquisition in 2012, and is now an integral part of Offie 365 and used by more than 500,000 organizations. As part of our long term plan, David has played an instrumental role over the past two years in building a strong leadership team to set a solid direction for Yammer as part of Microsoft Office 365 and our vision for enterprise social," a Microsoft spokesperson told VatorNews.

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Bio: David has been involved in the Internet space for over a decade as an entrepreneur, executive and investor.

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