Koa Club Spotlight -
Archana Subramanian

by Theresa Ludvigson and T.J. Vilardi

“My Story is Not Finished Here”

Meet the soon-to-be newest #KoaClub member, Archana Subramanian. She has been at Salesforce since 2011 and has held a variety of roles throughout the organization. Read about her incredible journey here in our next Koa Club Spotlight!

New Beginnings

After years of traveling as a consultant, Archana decided enough was enough. With a home base in San Francisco she knew she wanted to work for a company located in the city itself. After researching companies in San Francisco, she came across Salesforce. At the time in 2011, Salesforce was a relatively small company compared to what it has become today. “Moving from the consulting world to corporate America, it’s hard to know where you fit in. However, a job posting for a Senior Analyst of Sales Strategy and Operations spoke to me. It seemed like a great fit given my background,” said Archana. In December of 2011, Archana accepted her offer and started what would become a long and exciting career at Salesforce. At the time when Archana first took the position, there were 10 people dedicated to sales strategy. Today, there are about 110 strategy folks in the organization.

Five years ago, Archana started working with fellow Salesforce leader, Andy Kofoid. This is also when Archana would take her first steps into the world of M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions). It was here where she would see her job scope increase immensely. “At Salesforce, acquisitions happen frequently to help enhance our existing products or create entirely new ones. As we continued to make acquisitions, I increased my scope of work with not only new technology but incredible people as well,” Archana told us. In 2020, Archana was named as the COO & SVP for the North American Vertical Sales business. This year, Archana is taking on a fun, new adventure. She told us, “Next week I will be packing up and moving me and my family to Sydney, Australia where I will be the new COO of the ANZ & ASEAN regions. I am extremely excited and fortunate to be embarking on this new journey.”

Archana and her children at the airport for their move to Syndey!
We asked Archana what she attributes her decade-long success here at Salesforce to. She told us, “Go out there and get different experiences within the business. Make sure to continue to expand your horizons. My strategy here has always been to locate which part of the business needs help. How can I help solve the problem? Once my work leads to solving an issue and the business is in a healthy place, I raise my hand to go tackle a new challenge. Salesforce has been so supportive of me going to do that.”

Advice from Archana

With 10 years at the company, Archana has a lot of experience that she wants to pass down. 

For employees just getting started on their Salesforce journey, Archana told us, “We know how difficult it must be for you to infuse yourself into the culture in a remote work environment. It will become easier as we start to re-open offices and you can see people in-person again. Make sure you stay connected with your cohort that you were onboarded with. They will remain your close network for years to come. I am still friends with many members of my onboarding cohort that happened nearly 10 years ago now in San Mateo.” She continued, “Also, make sure to expand your network outside of your immediate team. There are so many intriguing teams and programs here at the company and I encourage you to explore them.”

What about those employees that are half way to Koa Club and are 5 years into their career here? “I would say there is so much opportunity here at Salesforce. With all the acquisitions and innovation that continue to happen, the growth is exponential. At the 5 year mark when you have that itch and maybe you see an interesting role on LinkedIn that might pop up, what you should be thinking about is the 5 years you have spent at the company and the network you have made. Reach out to that network and use it to find something internally that might be of interest to you and compare it to some of the external roles you may be considering. It would be a shame not to use your network that you spent 5 years building at this company.” 

Outside Salesforce

When Archana isn’t working her day job, she has her hands full at home with two little girls. “In the beginning of lockdown it was a major struggle to get my 7 and 4 year old girls focused on virtual schooling. I was just trying to get by each day and didn’t have much time to focus on my wellbeing,” said Archana. She continued, “Now, since this has become somewhat of the new normal, we have started getting outside and exploring what the local trails have to offer. I have an all new appreciation for fresh, clean air after the pandemic and wild fires that hit California.”

In her free time, when she isn’t working or wrestling with her kids, Archana sits on the Board of Project Glimmer, a national non-profit that focuses on empowering girls of color who are in the foster system. Archana told us, “The founder of Project Glimmer found that foster teens are often forgotten during holiday gift drives, most of the toys meant for younger children. Project Glimmer now gives thousands of gifts and essential goods to foster girls nationwide and hosts a series of empowerment events. We have figured out how companies like Salesforce can get involved. In this time of Covid, we have turned virtual and have conducted 'Empower Hours' over Zoom with 100+ girls in foster care. They are introduced to different roles and job functions at larger companies. For example, they can see successful women at Salesforce and feel that there is a path for them here. They ultimately come away from the event feeling empowered and valued. It is an incredible program.”

What is Next for Archana?

Archana told us, “My story is not finished here at Salesforce. The company has been so supportive of me over the last 10 years and I still feel like there is more for me to learn and accomplish here.” However, she does have bigger plans for the future. “You get so many different perspectives seeing how Salesforce operates. I am really fortunate to see a lot of sides of the business. One day, I hope to take all of these experiences and be CEO of a company.” But for now, she is focused on her next 10 years at Salesforce and her new journey in Sydney!

Want to learn more about Archana’s career journey? Check out her career on Linkedin


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