‘Unrest at Salesforce’ Before co-CEO Stepped Down

There is possible friction at Salesforce if reports are to be believed

Reports suggest unrest at the executive level of Salesforce
CRMLatest News

Published: December 9, 2022

Ryan Smith

There was ‘unrest’ at Salesforce ahead of co-CEO Bret Taylor announcing that he is leaving the company, according to multiple reports.

The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and Tech Crunch have all suggested growing tension at the top of Salesforce.

If reports are to be believed, discussions were held among executives at Salesforce to get Taylor to remain with the company.

Lauren Thomas, Wall Street Journal Reporter, posted on LinkedIn: “We reported that there had been growing tensions between the software company’s two co-CEOs ahead of Bret Taylor’s departure being announced earlier this month.

“There was some discussion about trying to work things out and arranging for Taylor to stay for another year or so, but that didn’t pan out, people familiar with the matter said.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Salesforce stock price raised by 5.7 percent ahead of the earnings call on November 30 and then fell by the same amount in the hours after Taylor’s announcement.

Taylor made the announcement during Salesforce’s Q3 earnings call, in which the company reported a 14 percent YoY rise in revenue.

When Taylor made his announcement, his departure seemed amicable, with  Marc Benioff, Founder and fellow co-CEO at Salesforce, giving him a warm-hearted send-off.

He said:

“Bret, you know that you’re always going to be our brother. You know that we love you very deeply and that you have a home here. We’re going to try to get you back somehow.”

On the earnings call, there appeared to be no bad blood between the two Salesforce chiefs, with Taylor heaping praise on Benioff.

He commented: “Marc, you’ve been my mentor long before I joined this company. And in the past six years, your relationship has definitely become the most significant in my professional career.

“Even after this transition, I will always, always be a part of this company and always be a part of this community.”

Unfortunately, that community became slightly smaller following Taylor’s exit, with Slack’s Founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield, confirming that he will leave the company in January 2023.

Butterfield, according to reports, sent an internal message to Slack employees to announce his departure.

Alongside Butterfield, Slack’s Product Chief, Tamar Yehoshua, and SVP of Marketing, Brand, and Communications, Jonathan Price, are also leaving the company.

Following Butterfield’s department, Salesforce Executive Vice President Lidiane Jones has been appointed as the new CEO of Slack.

Salesforce acquired Slack for $27.7bn in July 2021, with the collaboration company’s technology incorporated into Salesforce’s Customer 360 CRM suite.

Previous earnings calls suggested that the integration of the two companies has been smooth; however, it remains to be seen if the positive numbers were papering over the cracks at the executive level.



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