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New PeopleSoft CMO rolls marketing dice

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Though Nanci Caldwell’s company, PeopleSoft Inc., is based in decidedly low-key Pleasanton, Calif., she’s selected a far glitzier locale for her first big marketing gala. Las Vegas is a telling choice that reflects PeopleSoft’s aspirations to become synonymous with customer relationship management software much like Sin City is with gambling.

Caldwell, a 19-year Hewlett-Packard Co. veteran who became PeopleSoft’s chief marketing officer earlier this month, will next week oversee the PeopleSoft Leadership Summit 2001 at the MGM Grand Hotel. The event is set to pull an across-the-map role of attendees, ranging from PeopleSoft customers to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Despite the glitz, the summit’s main goal is frankly straightforward: to promote the PeopleSoft 8 CRM Web enterprise software suite—upon which the company is pinning its future—and the rest of its collaborative platforms. "[We want] to allow customers to see how other companies are implementing PeopleSoft software," Caldwell said.

Caldwell is also overseeing one of the company’s biggest ad campaigns in its history; ads touting the PeopleSoft 8 suite broke earlier this month. She is also using the economic slowdown to boost client face-time. "The softening economy has given us an opportunity to work more closely with customers," she said.

Caldwell came to PeopleSoft after serving Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP as VP-marketing, HP Services. She succeeded Baer Tierkel, who retired.

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