Salesforce promotes Bret Taylor to co-CEO alongside Benioff
Bret Taylor from Salesforce at Dreamforce 2017
On Tuesday, Salesforce promoted Bret Taylor to co-CEO alongside Marc Benioff, who co-founded the company in 1999.
Taylor joined Salesforce in 2016 through the $ 412 million acquisition of his productivity software startup Quip, which he co-founded four years earlier. Taylor was quickly promoted to president and chief product officer and now participates in quarterly telephone calls with analysts.
“Bret is a phenomenal industry leader who has been instrumental in achieving incredible success for our customers and driving innovation across our company,” said Benioff in a press release announcing the promotion. “Together, Bret and I will lead Salesforce through our next chapter, living our shared values of trust, customer success, innovation and equality for all.”
Before founding Quip, Taylor helped create Google Maps, sold the social networking start-up FriendFeed to Facebook, and served as Facebook’s chief technology officer for three years. Taylor sits on Twitter’s board of directors and was named chairman on Monday following Jack Dorsey’s departure as CEO.
Taylor received $ 13.9 million in total compensation for fiscal year 2021, primarily from stock awards, according to the latest proxy statement from Salesforce. He owns approximately $ 329 million in Salesforce stock, according to FactSet. Taylor received Salesforce stock in exchange for his Quip inventory.
The last time Benioff appointed another Salesforce CEO was in 2018, when former Oracle executive Keith Block became co-CEO alongside Benioff. But Block resigned less than two years later, and Benioff removed the “Co” from his title.
Taylor told people he expected to get the CEO job soon, the information reported on Oct. 7.
“Marc has been my mentor, my greatest supporter and my loyal friend for years,” he said in Tuesday’s statement. “Working with him to run the company he co-founded 22 years ago is an enormous privilege.”
Salesforce is the largest employer in San Francisco and attracts tens of thousands of attendees each year to its Dreamforce conference, where Benioff discusses business trends. Benioff is regularly involved in politics, directing funds for philanthropic causes and, along with his wife, Lynne, purchased Time Magazine from Meredith Corp. in 2018.
Salesforce has expanded beyond its core of providing cloud-based software for salespeople to include products for customer service, marketing, and retail. The acquisitions of MuleSoft, Tableau and most recently Slack have also helped Salesforce to grow.
Last year, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield announced to Taylor that Slack was interested in acquiring Quip from Salesforce. Taylor told Butterfield that didn’t happen, but he later came up with the idea of buying Salesforce Slack, according to a government petition. The $ 27.1 billion deal was closed in July.
Taylor graduated from Stanford
SEE: Jim Cramer’s interview with Marc Benioff