• General
  • December 1, 2021
  • 6 minutes read

Moves: Salesforce Promotes COO Bret Taylor To Co-CEO

Software giant Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) is reverting to the co-CEO structure it abandoned last year. The company has promoted Bret Taylor,…

Bret Taylor

Software giant Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) is reverting to the co-CEO structure it abandoned last year. The company has promoted Bret Taylor, its Chief Operating Officer (COO), to be co-CEO alongside longtime CEO Marc Benioff

It’s a great week for Taylor, who was named Chairman of social media giant Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) on Monday and co-CEO of Salesforce the following day. He was also named Vice Chairman of Salesforce’s board concurrent with his co-CEO role.
  • Salesforce first adopted the co-CEO structure in 2018 when it appointed Keith Block, a longtime executive, to lead alongside founder Marc Benioff. Block, however, resigned just 18 months into the job, reasons unknown. Considering Taylor’s appointment, it appears that Salesforce is still keen on maintaining the co-CEO structure.
  • The co-CEO structure has found favor mainly in the tech industry. Some big names in the industry, such as Netflix and Warby Parker, currently maintain the structure. Others like SAP and Oracle had it but reverted to having a single CEO, the former after just six months and the latter when one co-CEO passed away.
  • The rationale behind the co-CEO arrangement is splitting the leadership tasks between two persons to make it easier to handle for both of them. The modern business landscape comes with demands that may be too much for one CEO to handle, and yes, CEOs experience burnout.
  • Marc Benioff has been Salesforce’s CEO since he founded the company two decades ago. He’s one of the OG tech founders still at the helm of their company, a club that’s getting smaller as time goes by. Hypothetically, Benioff could be preparing to step down after working for two decades and leave Taylor at Salesforce’s helm.

Taylor has been a fast-rising executive at Salesforce, which he joined five years ago. The company hired him after acquiring a startup he founded, Quip, for $750mnQuip is an online word processing app still active today as part of Salesforce’s software suite.

Before Salesforce, Taylor was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at tech giant Facebook (now Meta) for two years. He joined Facebook after the company bought his previous startup, FriendFeed, for $50mn in 2009. Before Facebook, Taylor worked at Google, where he helped create Google Maps. 
  • Salesforce stock (NYSE: CRM) slipped 11% on Wednesday. The company has a current market cap of $249bn.

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