Workday appoints new co-CEO as its co-founder plans to step down

21 Dec 2022

Carl Eschenbach. Image: Workday

Aneel Bhusri is planning to step down as co-CEO in 2024, when VMware veteran Carl Eschenbach will lead as sole CEO.

Enterprise software company Workday has appointed a new co-CEO as it prepares for a leadership shake-up.

Sequoia’s Carl Eschenbach has been named new co-CEO, effective immediately. He is replacing Chano Fernandez, who is stepping down as co-CEO and leaving Workday’s board of directors.

Eschenbach will be working alongside existing co-CEO Aneel Bhusri, who is also Workday’s co-founder and chair, until January 2024.

At that time, it is expected that Eschenbach will become the sole CEO of Workday and Bhusri will take on a full-time role as executive chair.

“We have an incredible opportunity in front of us and I’m confident that Carl, with his leadership skills and his proven experience in helping technology companies scale, as well as his commitment to culture and values, will help lead Workday through its next phase of growth,” said Bhusri.

Eschenbach has more than 35 years of experience leading technology companies. He has been a partner at Sequoia Capital since 2016 and he will continue to stay involved with the VC firm in a venture partner capacity.

He has also held several leadership positions at tech company VMware, including president, chief operating officer, acting chief financial officer and executive vice-president of worldwide field operations. He helped the company scale to more than $7bn in total revenue during his 14 years working there.

Since 2018, Eschenbach has been a member of Workday’s board of directors.

“I’ve long admired Workday and how it has redefined the enterprise software industry, with a focus on putting people at the centre, a values-based approach to leadership and a relentless focus on customer service and innovation,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to be expanding my role at Workday and working with Aneel, the rest of the leadership team and our amazing group of employees to help us build on this great momentum and take hold of the massive opportunity in front of us.”

California-based Workday, which provides enterprise cloud applications for finance, HR and planning, has its European headquarters in Dublin. In April of this year, the company said it planned to hire 1,000 new staff in Ireland.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic