BT tech guru and former CIO JP Rangaswami has been appointed as chief scientist at, a similar role he held at the UK telecoms provider for the last four years.

He stood down from his post at BT a month ago.

Prior to joining BT, Rangaswami – a widely respected technologist across the world – was CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DKW), which he joined in 1997.

At Salesforce, he will report to chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and be responsible for helping align the company's proposition with customer demand and championing its cloud computing offering on the world stage.

In a statement, Rangaswami said: "I've long thought that it's only a matter of time before enterprise software consists of only four types of application: publishing, search, fulfillment and conversation. – with its cloud-based enterprise apps that are social, mobile and real-time – is already making that vision real and I look forward to helping shape the future of enterprise software."

The hire will be seen as something of a coup for Benioff. Rangaswami is a long-time proponent of open and on-demand computing and already has a high profile as a technology commentator, which Salesforce is sure to gain from. While at DKW, he was profiled in a series of case studies in Harvard Business Review, focusing on the innovations he had overseen.

In a statement, Benioff said: "I can think of no one better as's Chief Scientist than JP Rangaswami. He has the rare talent of being able to see what the future should be, knowing what it takes to get there, and the enthusiasm to make it happen. He is a true innovator."