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Salesforce Co-CEO Bret Taylor To Leave Next Year

Wade Tyler Millward

‘I am grateful for six fantastic years at Salesforce,’ Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor says in a statement.

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Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor will exit his role on Jan. 31, leaving co-founder Marc Benioff as sole CEO, the enterprise applications vendor said in a statement Wednesday.

Taylor spent about a year in the co-CEO role, getting promoted from president and chief operating officer in November. San Francisco-based Salesforce – best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) offerings – also released its third quarter results for fiscal year 2023 Wednesday, covering the quarter that ended Oct. 31.

CRN has reached out to Salesforce for comment.

[RELATED: Salesforce Promotes President And COO Taylor To Co-CEO With Marc Benioff]

Salesforce Co-CEO Bret Taylor To Leave

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

Taylor continued: “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.”

In a statement, Benioff called Taylor’s departure “bittersweet.”

“It’s bittersweet that Bret has decided to step down as my co-CEO,” Benioff said. “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.’” Ohana is the Hawaiian word for extended family.

Taylor joined Salesforce in 2016 with the $750 million acquisition of Quip. He previously worked at Facebook for about three years, leaving in 2012 with the title of chief technology officer. He had been board chairman of Twitter until Elon Musk took over the social media company last month and subsequently dissolved the board, according to CNN.

In fiscal year 2022, Taylor received total compensation of $22.8 million, 125 times that of the median employee. He received about $1 million in base pay for the year, about 14 times the base pay for the median Salesforce employee.

Salesforce’s earnings report will receive much attention following company leaders’ cuts to revenue guidance and description of a measured customer buying environment amid fears of a recession in the United States.

In a statement on its third quarter earnings, Salesforce reported revenue of $7.84 billion, up 19 percent year over year excluding foreign exchange rates. The company has $20.9 billion in current remaining performance obligation, up 15 percent year over year.

The company expects $7.932 billion to $8.032 billion in fourth quarter revenue, up 12 percent to 13 percent year over year. Full fiscal year 2023 revenue guidance is $30.9 billion to $31 billion, up 20 percent year over year.

Operating cash flow was $310 million, down 23 percent year over year. Free cash flow was $120 million, down 52 percent year over year.

Salesforce executives will deliver remarks on the earnings at 2 p.m. Pacific today.

Salesforce‘s stock traded at $149.75 a share after hours, down about 6 percent from market close.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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