Dec 5, 2022 - Technology

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving Salesforce

Stewart Butterfield at a conference.

Photo by Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Getty Images.

Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield will leave parent company Salesforce early next month, the company confirms to Axios. He'll be succeeded by longtime Salesforce cloud executive Lidiane Jones.

Why it matters: This comes less than two years after Salesforce bought Slack for $28 billion, and only a week after Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor submitted his own resignation.

  • Butterfield wrote in an internal Slack message to employees that his move is unrelated to Taylor's, adding: "Planning has been in the works for several months. Just weird timing!"
  • Slack chief product officer Tamar Yehoshua and SVP Jonathan Prince also will depart, per Butterfield's message.

Catch up quick: Butterfield led Slack from its start nearly a decade ago, as a spin-off from a game project that failed to gain traction.

  • The chat application gained adoption fast in a bottom-up fashion as small teams embraced it and persuaded their companies to use it.
  • The company went public in 2019, but rising competition from Microsoft Teams and other rivals led Slack's leadership to steer it toward the 2021 acquisition by Salesforce.

What they're saying: A Salesforce spokesperson said that Butterfield has been "an incredible leader... [who] helped lead the successful integration of Slack into Salesforce."

  • In his internal message, Butterfield wrote of Lidiane Jones: "You're going to love her ... She also has enormous credibility inside of Salesforce and will be an effective advocate for Slack's business, customers, and people."

The news of Butterfield's pending departure was first reported by Business Insider, and caused Salesforce stock to sink.

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