Cliff Conneighton

Based in Boston area, serving companies globally ● M (+1)617-800-4376 ●

Uniquely qualified to help technology companies achieve their growth ambitions.

consulting ● board positions ● interim executive roles / mentoring ● content development

enterprise technology marketing ● cloud and premise business, offer and market strategy

A deep history helping executive teams achieve extraordinary growth and successful exits:

  • As SVP/CMO, helped lead hybris, an enterprise commerce software platform provider, to number one market share over Oracle and IBM, grew revenue 120% to over $200 million in 2 years, culminating in acquisition by SAP at a multiple of nearly 15x revenue.
  • As SVP/CMO at ATG, an enterprise commerce software platform provider, drove strategy shift and repositioning from application server to e-commerce enterprise software and cloud services, resulting in number one market share, revenue growth from $72 million to $165 million, from negative cash flow to 19% CFO, eventually culminating in $1 billion acquisition by Oracle.
  • As head of marketing for Notes at Lotus Development, grew business from $25 million infancy to $500 million dominance of groupware market in 3 years, culminating in $3.2 billion acquisition by IBM.  Recognized by Geoffrey Moore (Crossing the Chasm) as “one of the most extraordinary marketing achievements in years” and by Advertising Age Magazine with its “Marketer of the Year” award.
  • As first CMO of BBN Planet, America’s first nationwide tier one internet backbone provider, grew revenue from $7 million to $17 million to $75 million in successive years, culminating in acquisition by GTE (eventually Level 3).

As an entrepreneur, was co-founder and CEO of iCOMS, first independent e-commerce cloud service provider.  Raised $40m in venture funding, grew to over $6m annual revenue and break-even, 200+ peak staff.  Operated hundreds of small e-commerce sites.

Specific experience in content, strategy and execution across a breadth of industries:

  • Retail, fashion, consumer manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, wholesale distribution, telco, healthcare, insurance, magazine and book publishing, media & entertainment, software & games, online information services

Exceptional skills in competitive positioning, messaging, naming, branding:

  • As VP and Service Director at Gartner, defined the categories and coined the terms “Business Intelligence” and “Middleware”.
  • At Digital Equipment, while others were marketing raw technology, drove the then new concept of “solutions marketing” and coined “Digital Sells Solutions”.
  • At ATG, to differentiate from competitors with less scalable and extensible products, developed the position and message “The last commerce platform you’ll ever need”.
  • At Lotus, to define a unique product, which fit no existing category, while encouraging a robust developer community, described Notes as “a development platform for a new class of document-centric applications”.
  • At hybris, to differentiate from older competitors with obsolete technologies, coined the positioning, messaging and tagline “hybris is the future of commerce”.

Extensive experience growing and managing teams and operations across the globe:

  • Canada, Brazil, U.K., Scotland, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and every region of the U.S.  In the most recent position, more than 60% of the bookings target and marketing activity was outside of North America.

Strong focus on cost-efficient, objective-driven marketing to well-defined targets:

  • At ATG, developed very successful “target account marketing” system, identifying prospects by industry, size and geography, deployed on and executed by tightly-goaled business development team in marketing responsible for delivering only solid opportunities to sales, which closed at 33% rate.At hybris, same business development system adopted to drive all sales globally.

Technical background provides solid foundation and good credibility with developers:

  • Bachelors and masters in systems engineering
  • Early career in professional services/systems integration
  • Experience as software architect and operating system developer
  • Strong product management experience at Texas Instruments, Digital Equipment

Strong experience helping companies consummate M&A and achieve successful integration:

  • As a consultant for Oracle, developed the research, alternative options, strategy, business case and board presentation material resulting in its acquisition of ATG.
  • For hybris, helped drive final due diligence with SAP and other suitors, culminating in very rewarding M&A.  Then played a significant role, formally and informally, in very successful post-merger integration.
  • For ATG, played a key role in strategy, negotiation, due diligence and post-merger integration of 3 acquisitions.
  •  For BBN Planet, helped negotiate game-changing operating and marketing deal with AT&T that grew revenue multi-fold.  Working with lead underwriters and law firms, led the development of the business section of the S1, preparing for IPO.
  • For iCOMS, personally negotiated $40 million in debt and equity financing with VCs and creditors, as well as all customer, partner, operating and personnel contracts, including European subsidiary formation, and a small acquisition.
  • Authored a 368-page book, “An Entrepreneur’s Practical Guide to Stock, Finance and Contracts:  How to raise money, avoid trouble and manage to profitability.  And at the end of the day, make sure there is something left for yourself”.  Hit number one position in venture capital category on with a perfect 5-star review average, adopted by two leading business schools.  Available at
  • Served as guest lecturer on entrepreneurship and financing at Boston College.

I approach marketing with a strong technical appreciation, an analytical mindset and an understanding that ultimately its only objective is to work with sales to build revenue.  I believe the most effective elements are differentiated positioning, succinct, compelling messaging communicated via a strong web presence, effective AR/PR and powerful content, highly targeted demand generation resulting in a very high percentage of closable opportunities, and practical, content-rich sales aids.  I believe all marketing should be objective-driven and I measure everything.

I can help your company achieve its growth or strategic goals through market research, consulting engagements, content development, roles on formal or informal boards, interim executive positions, due diligence and advisory on either side of M&A, helping you define and find the right permanent staff, or mentoring staff with great potential but less experience.

Let’s talk.

Cliff Conneighton

Cliff is a featured speaker at conferences around the world.  Here he is speaking at the World Magazine Congress in Rome in 2013.


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