Salesforce has built a deep bench of executive talent via acquisition – TechCrunch

When Acquired Salesforce Quip for $ 750 million in 2016, it acquired CEO and co-founder Brett Taylor as part of the deal. Taylor has risen steadily since becoming the second-in-command behind CEO Mark Benioff and through the ranks of software giant to become president. Taylor’s experience suggests that startup founders can sometimes play a key role in the companies that acquire them.

56 year old Benioff running Sales force Since its inception 20 years ago. While he has made no public indication that he intends to leave any time soon, if he wants to come back from the day-to-day work of the company or even share a job, he has a keen sense of executive talent Is the bench. Many experienced CEOs, like Taylor, came into the company through acquisitions.

One way to step back from the onerous responsibility of running Salesforce would be to share the role.

He and his wife Lynn have been active in giving charitable and 2016 Signed the giving pledge, An initiative on behalf of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to give the majority of its funding for philanthropy. One can see someone who wants to devote more time to these charitable efforts like Gates did 20 years ago. As a means of comparison, Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 and lived for 25 years Until he left in 2000 Full time to run his charitable foundation.

Even though this is purely speculation for the moment, there is a group of people with deep industry experience behind them, who may be well-suited to taking the time.

Reviving co-CEO role

One way to step back from the onerous responsibility of running Salesforce would be to share the role. In fact, for more than a year starting in 2018, Benioff actually Shared top job Until with keith block His departure last year. When they worked together, the arrangement was to help many large customers work with the block and help the software Reach your $ 20 billion revenue target.

Prior to becoming Block’s co-CEO, he held other high-status titles including co-chairman, president and COO – two of which Taylor holds today. A lot of responsibility for a person inside that company was in the shape of Salesforce, but being promoted from COO to co-CEO helped the company reward its hard work and save it from jumping ship (He finally did anyway).

As Holzer Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, explains, the co-CEO concept has done a good job on major venture companies that have tried it in the past, and it helped with the continuity. “Salesforce, SAP and Oracle all didn’t really miss a beat with the co-CEO departure,” he said.

If Benioff wants to go back to the model with shared responsibility and take some work off his plate, Taylor (or anyone else) would be one way to get the co-CEO. Certainly, Brent Leary, principal analyst at CRM Essentials, sees Taylor taking on increasing responsibility over time, lending credibility to the idea.

“Ever since Quip was acquired Taylor seemed to be on the fast track, becoming president and chief product officer less than one-and-a-half years after the acquisition, and then two years later was promoted to chief operating officer. , “Leary said. .

Who else can be in line?

While Taylor is not the only person who can step into Benioff’s shoes, he looks like he has the best shot at the moment, especially In light of the sluggish deal worth $ 27.7 billion He helped earlier this month.

“Taylor publicly praised by Benif for playing an important role in the Slack acquisition, Salesforce’s largest acquisition ever, showing how strong he has strengthened his place in the organization at the highest levels of influence and decision making , “Laird said.

But Mueller believes that his rapid promotion may also show that there may be some drawbacks with internal options, especially around the product. “Taylor is a great, smart man, but his rise reflects the intense challenges of the product organization bench that Salesforce has,” he said.