Xactly CEO Cabrera on why he just inked a deal for a new downtown SJ headquarters

Original article was published August 11, 2014 on Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Aug 11, 2014
3 min read

Xactly Corp. is on the move in downtown San Jose — for the fourth time.

The company, which makes software to help companies track sales performance, signed its long-rumored deal for the top three floors — 60,000 square feet — at 300 Park Ave. last week. That’s Legacy Partners’ long-empty Riverpark Tower II,where fellow downtown tech company Intacct also just leased 60,000 square feet.

Those deals, plus a small ground-floor lease for Pan Pacific Bank, bring the 300,000-square-foot building from zero to more than 40 percent occupancy. (Close readers of the Business Journal will not exactly be surprised by this deal, which I wrote was in the works back in June.)

Xactly started in 2005 at 400 Race St., then moved to 35 S. Market and most recently occupied about 30,000 square feet at 225 W. Santa Clara St. Its new home is roughly double its current digs, where it has about 320 workers.

Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available. Ralph Longo of Global Commercial Properties represented the tenant; Phil Mahoney and Anne Ralston of Cornish & Carey Newmark Knight Frank represented the landlord.

I talked to Xactly CEO Christopher Cabrera about what’s driving the growth and why his company chose the new building. The interview was edited for clarity.

Why downtown? Every time we've moved, we've looked at certain areas, but I feel like downtown San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley, and there's so much going on in the core. It would have been no big deal for us to move up the Peninsula five or ten miles. Ultimately we chose to stay because we love the downtown area. It's really an attractive place to have employees come. It's a destination where employees want to come to work and stay around after work — go to bars, a Sharks game.

OK, so why this building? It's an opportunity where we're taking over the top three floors of the building. The views are panoramic of the entire valley. Because of where it is, there's not really buildings that block the views, they’re unencumbered, 360-degree views. And it's an opportunity to build literally from a shell, which allows us to have internal staircases between the floors, and build a space that represents the fun, exciting culture of what our company is.

What are you going to do inside the space? We can build a big cafeteria, have big open ceilings, and embrace the new things that are happening in the way of employee space. The days of the high-wall cubes are over. We probably have 75-percent open-office today. We're going to go to 99 percent open office.

Riverpark II has been empty for a couple of years. What was your take on that? Clearly they've already signed another big tenant as well. And they have some cool stuff coming in — a nice conference and workout facility. We like the idea that it's brand new, and we can go in and mold and do the way we want it. We actually like the idea it's a little closer to SAP arena, and the park-like setting that's there. We felt we're still in the core, but you have a little more room. The employees can have their lunch by the creek.

How did you first encounter the space? Our broker (Ralph Longo of Global Commercial Properties) found the building, and he said, 'You've got to come check this out.' I said, 'I don't know, it's been empty for a while.' The moment we walked in there, we really liked it — especially the views.

What’s going on with Xactly right now? The best news is just the continued growth of the company. We're dominating our space. We added 75 employees in the last six months.

A lot of that is being driven by our core business, which is to incent traditional salespeople — we have great customers like Salesforce and Twitter. But about 20 percent of our users are not those kind of customers. They're bank tellers and truck drivers and wedding planners. We're seeing that part of the business really take off.

What else? Another piece is our Insights. We've been collecting and processing data for our clients for over nine years. We have a tremendous amount of anonymized data and we can help companies design better compensation plans based on empirical data. They can't buy that anywhere else. They want us to help design new plans based on empirical data.

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