Stewart Butterfield, the CEO and Founder of Slack, has announced that he will be leaving the company in January 2023.
The announcement comes just days after Bret Taylor, co-CEO at Salesforce, confirmed he is stepping down at the end of the fiscal year.
Butterfield, according to reports, sent an internal message to Slack employees to announce his departure.
Slack has confirmed that Salesforce Executive Vice President Lidiane Jones will take his place.
Following her appointment, Jones sent out a series of Tweets, the first highlighted below.
1/ Today is a new and exciting day for me, @SlackHQ and @salesforce. I am proud to be named Slack’s new CEO, accepting the baton from the thoughtful and innovative found @stewart. In true Slack fashion, here’s a 🧵on my thoughts.
— Lidiane Jones (@LidianeJones) December 5, 2022
“I am proud to be named Slack’s new CEO, accepting the baton from the thoughtful and innovative found @Stewart [Butterfield],” she adds.
Thank you @Stewart [Butterfield] for what you’ve built and for trusting me with the most important of my life. Simply put, there would be no Slack without Stewart.
“He’s built an incredible company that has redefined modern collaboration with a team grounded in humility and innovation.
“As we look forward, we are grounded by Slack’s mission: to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.
“We have so much opportunity to bring the digital HQ to every Salesforce customer and many more as we continue to grow together.”
According to sources, Slack’s Product Chief, Tamar Yehoshua, and SVP of Marketing, Brand, and Communications, Jonathan Price, are also leaving the company.
The timing of Butterfield’s announcement combined with Taylor leaving Salesforce could set alarm bells ringing at the top of both companies. However, reports suggest that both men are leaving amicably.
Taylor joined Salesforce after it acquired Quip for $750M in August 2016 – the company he founded after leaving his role as CTO of Facebook.
From there, he spearheaded the $27.7BN Slack acquisition and took on the challenge of becoming co-CEO.
After the deal, Slack’s technology was incorporated into Salesforce’s Customer 360 CRM suite.
At the time of the purchase, it was confirmed that Butterfield would continue in his role as CEO, with Slack continuing to work under its own branding. Yet, it appears he has had a change of heart.
After speaking with Butterfield, shortly after his announced departure, Patrick Moorhead, Founder, CEO, and Chief Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, concluded:
He’s tired. 50 and a new baby. That’s why he’s leaving. I get it.
In June 2022, Salesforce recorded a 40% growth in customers spending more than $100,000 annually on its Slack offering for the fourth consecutive quarter.
The UC platform had outperformed Salesforce’s expectations, garnering $348 million in Q1 revenues, compared to its estimates of $330 million.