Salesforce appoints Bret Taylor as co-CEO alongside Marc Benioff

1 Dec 2021

Image: © DW labs Incorporated/

Taylor will lead Salesforce with founder Marc Benioff, who said he is ‘never leaving’ the SaaS company.

Salesforce has announced some major changes in the company’s top leadership, with president and COO Bret Taylor promoted to vice-chair and co-CEO.

Taylor joins existing CEO Marc Benioff, who co-founded the San Francisco-headquartered company in 1999 and is chair of the board. Taylor’s promotion comes just days after he was appointed independent chair of Twitter after CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down.

A former CTO at Facebook and a co-creator of Google Maps, Taylor was the founder and CEO of productivity software company Quip, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2016. He has worked at Salesforce since then and is a close aide of Benioff.

“Bret is a phenomenal industry leader who has been instrumental in creating incredible success for our customers and driving innovation throughout our company. He has been my trusted friend for years, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome him as co-CEO,” said Benioff.

Salesforce also added some new members to its board of directors with the appointment of Laura Alber, president and CEO of retail company Williams-Sonoma, and Oscar Munoz, former chair and CEO of United Airlines.

Taylor’s new leadership role at Salesforce does not mark the exit of Benioff, who told CNBC he was “never leaving” the company he founded 22 years ago, but that it is his “dream” to co-lead the company with Taylor.

Salesforce, which makes customer relationship management software for businesses, also announced its third-quarter earnings yesterday (30 November).

Revenue was $6.86bn, up 27pc from last year and slightly above Refinitiv expectations of $6.8bn. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.27, up 27pc on last year, with Benioff calling it a “phenomenal quarter”.

“Salesforce is more relevant and strategic than ever as every company accelerates their digital transformation journey. Just as we’ve helped our customers navigate the pandemic, we’re now guiding them toward greater growth, customer success, health and safety, and trust,” he said.

Amy Weaver, president and CFO of Salesforce, added that the company was able to execute against a “strong demand environment” in the third quarter, especially with its business communication platform Slack, which it acquired earlier this year.

However, the company is expecting earnings per share to drop to between $0.72 and $0.73 in the next quarter, below Refinitiv expectations of $0.81, which led to a fall in the share price of the company after the earnings announcement.

In September, a Salesforce-sponsored white paper from global market intelligence firm IDC forecasted major growth in cloud-related technologies driven by increased remote work. In August, the company joined the streaming wars with its own business-focused platform, Salesforce+.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic