Slack CEO to Exit

Departure comes after co-CEO of parent Salesforce announced his resignation.

Screen sharing icon in Slack huddle
Picture of the Slack app.

Slack Technologies co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving the channel.

Butterfield, who ran Slack since it began in 2014, was integral to selling the business to Salesforce in 2020 for $227 billion. His exit comes less than a week after Salesforce co-CEO Brett Taylor, who also helped orchestrate the deal, also said he was stepping down. Slack's product chief and its head of marketing, branding and communication are also leaving.

Key Takeaways

  • Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving the company.
  • Last week, Salesforce Co-CEO Brett Taylor announced his resignation.
  • Salesforce bought Slack in 2020 for $227 billion, making a bet on a long-term shift to working from home.

“[Butterfield] is an incredible leader who created an amazing, beloved company in Slack,” a company spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. “He has helped lead the successful integration of Slack into Salesforce, and today Slack is woven into the Salesforce Customer 360 platform.”

Butterfield is among several technology or media CEOs who have stepped down this year, either by choice or force, after their products performed well during the pandemic. Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, Peloton Co-Founder John Foley, AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade and Disney CEO Bob Chapek are among the business leaders who have departed.

He'll be succeeded by Salesforce Cloud executive Lidia Jones, who joined the company in 2019. Before joining the company, Jones spent 12 years at Microsoft and four years at Sonos.

Salesforce bought Slack after it tripled the size of its workforce during the pandemic, betting that work from home was here to stay. “We really see the world as fundamentally having shifted,” Taylor said of the deal in 2020.

Taylor will leave as of Jan. 31. Business partner Marc Benioff will become sole chair and CEO.

“I am grateful for six fantastic years at Salesforce,” Taylor said 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.”

Butterfield’s resignation isn't related to Taylor’s exit, Butterfield said.

Salesforce’ shares have fallen 48% in the last 12 months, outstripping a 29% drop in the Nasdaq Composite index.


Article Sources
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  1. CNBC. "Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving Salesforce two years after deal was announced."

  2. The Wall Street Journal. "Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to Depart."

  3. Business Insider. "Elon Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal after taking over Twitter. He joins a growing list of executive departures in 2022, including Meta's Sheryl Sandberg and a slew of retail CEOs."

  4. Axios. "Even Slack's CEO is still trying to figure out hybrid work."

  5. Salesforce. "Bret Taylor to Step Down as Salesforce Vice Chair and Co-CEO; Marc Benioff to be Chair and CEO."

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