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Salesforce Co-CEO Block Steps Down; Benioff Leads Cloud CRM Provider

Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block has stepped down and dropped a hint that he may leave the cloud CRM software giant. Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO Marc Benioff now returns to a solo CEO position, while Block remains as an advisor to Benioff, the company said today.

Former Salesforce Co-CEO Keith Block

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

The announcement is surprising, considering Block was promoted from COO to co-CEO less than two years ago.

In a prepared statement about stepping down, Block said:

“It’s been my greatest honor to lead the team with Marc that has more than quadrupled Salesforce from $4 billion of revenue when I joined in 2013 to over $17 billion last year. We are now a global enterprise company, focused on industries, and have an ecosystem that is the envy of the industry, and I’m so grateful to our employees, customers, and partners. After a fantastic run I am ready for my next chapter and will stay close to the company as an advisor. Being side-by-side with Marc has been amazing and I’m forever grateful for our friendship and proud of the trajectory the company is on.”

So what is Block’s next chapter? The statement didn’t say, but Wall Street analysts will be digging for more information during an earnings call today.

Added Benioff about Block’s career shift:

“I am especially grateful to Keith for his service to Salesforce over the last seven years. I am delighted that he will be staying on as an advisor to me . Keith’s strategic thinking and operational excellence have deeply strengthened our company, and our close friendship endures. I am Keith’s biggest supporter as he creates the next chapter of his storied career. He will always be part of our Ohana.”

Salesforce also announced today that it has named Gavin Patterson, former BT Group CEO, its president and CEO of Salesforce International.

Salesforce Earnings

Salesforce today disclosed Q4 2019 revenue of $4.85 Billion, up 35% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018. The revenue figured exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

The fast-growing Salesforce cloud ecosystem has inspired dozens of mergers and acquisitions among Salesforce partners.

The Salesforce Dreamforce 2020 conference is scheduled for November in San Francisco.

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