In the fast-paced world of enterprise software, Salesforce have been navigating choppy waters in recent times. The CRM leader has been rattled by the combination of a falling stock price, activist investors, and executive departures for the first time in their 20+ year history.
However, since FY23 earnings were released back on March 1, 2023, Salesforce have been on a roll, with their stock price rising by 25%, as well as a rejuvenated approach to Generative AI which is being rolled out across all their products.
What (And Who) Is New?
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Salesforce have shaken up their executive team, bringing on board some familiar faces, as well as software veterans to help bolster their C-suite for the next stage of growth.
Miguel Milano, who previously served at Salesforce for more than 10 years as President of EMEA, APAC, and LACA, is coming back after a stint at Celonis as Chief Revenue Officer.
Ariel Kelman, who also helped Salesforce grow as VP of Product Marketing back in 2005-2011, is returning to Salesforce as CMO, having built an impressive CV as CMO at AWS and Oracle.
Sarah Franklin, the current CMO who has been at Salesforce since 2008 and has been a longtime champion of the Salesforce community, is moving to President & Chairwoman of the Salesforce Advisory Board. This was a program set up back in 2021 to help provide strategic guidance and support as the company grows into new markets.
In addition, Kendall Collins joins as Marc Benioff’s Chief of Staff, after working as CRM at Okta and Cisco’s AppDynamics.
By the tail end of 2022, Salesforce’s share price had plunged to levels not seen since 2019, and there was what can only be described as an executive exodus. Most notably, the CEO of Slack, Steward Butterfield, announced he would be leaving, alongside Mark Nelson, the CEO of Tableau, and Co-CEO, Bret Taylor.
As you can imagine, Bret Taylor’s announcement came as a big shock to the Salesforce community as well as Wall Street, after he was pegged to be the successor to Marc Benioff.
As Salesforce are now nearing their target of a 30% profit margin, activist investor pressure is starting to dwindle, and they have been able to attract some real heavy-hitting talent in the form of their C-suite shakeup.
One big question remains unanswered… who will be Marc Benioff’s successor if he chooses to step down in the near future?
Well, Business Insider have seemingly answered this question with an interview they carried out with Marc Benioff and Brian Millham, Salesforce’s COO, who is stepping up to take on even more responsibility – he now manages around 70% of their 70,000+ employees.
Nicholas Carlon from Business Insider asked: “So, you’ve had two other co-CEOs before and both of them left. What’s different this time?”
Benioff’s reply? “Well, I think Brian and my marriage is quite proven. Over two and a half decades, I don’t think there’s been a more successful business partnership for such a long period than Brian and I have had.”
To be continued!