Published On: Thu, Mar 11th, 2021

Is Marc Benioff Stepping Down from Salesforce?

Or could he just be returning to a co-CEO situation?

Rumors abound as to Marc Benioff’s future with his own company Salesforce. He is said to be planning to step down as its CEO and to move over to a position of company chairman. In this way he would copy a move that Jeff Bezos recently made over at Amazon.

The speculation as to Marc Benioff’s future began after Reuters fist reported on the possible switch citing people “familiar with the matter.” The leading candidate to replace Benioff is Salesforce’s current chief operating officer Bret Taylor.

Benioff previously shared the CEO title with a co-CEO Keith Block. Block left that position in 2020. So it could be that Taylor may also become a co-CEO with Benioff and that Benioff will not be stepping down.

Taylor only just became the Salesforce president and chief operating officer in December. He is credited with promoting Salesforce’s $27.7 billion purchase of San Francisco based workspace messaging platform Slack Technologies Inc. and acquisitions of software companies Tableau and Mulesoft.

Taylor has developed a reputation for innovating new products. He co-created Google Maps while at Google until 2007, then went on to create a social networking aggregator FriendFeed that was acquired in 2009 by Facebook, where he was later named CTO. Taylor left Facebook in 2012 to start Quip, a word processing app that Salesforce acquired in 2016 for about $582 million in stock.

Bret Taylor is credited with having developed Google Maps. He left Google to start a social networking website called FriendFeed. Taylor moved to Facebook when it bought out FriendFeed in 2009. In 2013 he founded a new software company called Quip. He joined Salesforce when it acquired Quip in 2016.

Benioff himself has not given any hint as to his future with Salesforce. He has, however, been touting the company’s commitment to ethics. He recently tweeted, “Salesforce has been a values driven company from the get go. And I think in part that’s part of what draws customers to us and part of our relationship, our promise with our own community.”

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