Salesforce’s second – and most recent – experiment with dual leadership seem to have come to an end, after co-CEO Bret Taylor confirmed that he is stepping down from his posts, both as the co-CEO and Vice Chair. As per reports, the news sent Salesforce’s shares down by 6.74% in after-hours trading, although they have rallied since then to go on to trade at $160.25.
This development comes exactly a year after Taylor was promoted to the post of co-CEO at Salesforce and ran the cloud-based software company alongside Chairman, co-CEO, and co-founder Marc Benioff. Benioff will continue to run Salesforce as the sole CEO, while Taylor will officially leave his positions on January 31, 2023.
“I am grateful for six fantastic years at Salesforce,” Taylor was quoted to be saying in a press release. “Marc was my mentor well before I joined Salesforce and the opportunity to partner with him to lead the most important software company in the world is career-defining. After a lot of reflection, I’ve decided to return to my entrepreneurial roots. Salesforce has never been more relevant to customers, and with its best-in-class management team and the company executing on all cylinders, now is the right time for me to step away.”
This development also comes after Taylor lost his job as board chair at Twitter – he lost his job at the social media company when Elon Musk completed the acquisition at $44 billion and initiated a purge of its top executives, including the dissolution of the Twitter board.
“It’s bittersweet that Bret has decided to step down as my Co-CEO,” said Benioff. “He made his mark on Salesforce as an incredible technologist, leader and friend to us all. Bret founded two incredible companies so it’s understandable why he wants to return to his entrepreneurial roots. I’m excited to see his next chapter unfold, as I’ll always be his biggest champion and he’ll always be part of the Salesforce ‘Ohana.”
Taylor, who joined Salesforce six years ago with the acquisition of his previous company Quip, quickly rose up the ranks. Until last year, he worked as the president and COO of the company, and proved to be instrumental in the monumental acquisition of Slack for $27 billion – Salesforce completed the acquisition in July 2021 – which turned out to be the biggest acquisition by Salesforce to date.
Taylor’s resignation comes at a time when the shares of the company have been hit hard to be down by 34% over the past year. It also comes as the economic downturn has created several new challenges and obstacles for the tech industry to overcome – something that has resulted in companies shedding thousands of employees and cutting down on costs.
In its results for the third quarter fiscal 2023, the company recorded an annual growth of 19% in revenue to $7.84 billion, while its GAAP EPS amounted to $0.21. Its net income for the quarter fell steeply to $210 million, or 21 cents a share, while its income from operations rose to $460 million for the three months ended October 31, 2022. Going forward, it projected revenue to amount to $30.9-31 billion in revenue for the entire fiscal year and generate $7.9-8 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter.