Enterprise cloud company ServiceNow named John Donahoe president and CEO on Monday, in an effort to snag the former eBay CEO before competitors.
Donahoe's availability, after the split of eBay and PayPal, encouraged current president and CEO Frank Slootman to "make room" while there was time to allow a steady transition, Slootman told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday. While the "treadmill" of quarterly earnings takes its toll, the choice to step aside wasn't personal, Slootman said.
"This is not about me, this is about us really being very proactive, very strategic, very forward-looking about CEO succession," Slootman said. "As many people know, it's very, very tricky to have a successful CEO transition, and you're going to have to strike when the iron is hot. ... A year from now, John's not going to be around."
Slootman will step aside as CEO on April 3, but will remain chairman of the board.
Donahoe first used ServiceNow's software at eBay. The software allows companies to integrate and consolidate IT applications within an organization, across departments such as customer service and human resources.
Donahoe said he thinks it's still early innings as far as technology disrupting the workplace.
"Over the past year I've had a great opportunity to step back and survey the landscape, and the trend that just stood out is the role that cloud is having on both consumers and enterprise," said Donahoe. "Companies born in the cloud, like ServiceNow and Workday and Salesforce are fundamentally transforming how companies operate. ... I think ServiceNow has a chance to be one of the great enterprise software companies of this era."