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Another Salesforce leader departs, will replace outbound Slack CEO

Slack's CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield also announced the departure of two other executives, but said the timing was purely coincidental

Slack’s CEO is leaving the company and is set to be replaced with a Salesforce cloud executive, marking another high-profile leader to leave the Salesforce roster in the last few weeks.

Salesforce, Slack’s parent company, has seen a number of executives leave recently, the most notable of which was co-CEO Bret Taylor who announced at the start of December he would be leaving the company.

The exodus has now reached Slack, where the CEO and co-founder of the company, Stewart Butterfield, is set to leave. His successor will be Lidiane Jones, who is currently an executive vice president and GM of experience cloud, commerce cloud, and marketing cloud at Salesforce.

However, Butterfield isn’t the only executive leaving. In an internal message, he reportedly told Slack employees that the company’s chief product officer and its senior vice president of marketing, communications, and brand, are also leaving, according to the WSJ. Butterfield said that the timing is coincidental and isn't in connection with the co-CEO’s departure.

Tamar Yehoshua, Slack’s chief product officer, confirmed her departure yesterday. She’s set to be replaced by Noah Desai Weiss, the SVP of product at Slack, who has worked at the company for seven years.

“Thank you Stewart for what you've built and for trusting me with the most important role of my life,” said incoming CEO Jones. “Simply put, there would be no Slack without Stewart. He's built an incredible company that has redefined modern collaboration with a team grounded in humility and innovation.”

Jones has been at Salesforce for just over three-and-a-half years, working in the commercial cloud arm of the cloud giant. She also worked as a group product manager at Microsoft for more than 12 years and was vice president of software product management at Sonos for nearly four years.

It would have been more surprising if Butterfield had stayed on in his role for more than two years, said Jason Wong, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. In the other Salesforce acquisitions of MuleSoft and Tableau, incoming CEOs were either removed from their posts, like Greg Schott, or took up a different position, which happened to Adam Selipsky.

"In various reporting of his resignation, it appears Stewart is leaving for family reasons, but the timing does sting with the departure of Bret Taylor and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson at the same time," Wong said. "More interesting is also the departure of Slack’s chief of products, Tamar Yehoshua, and head of branding and marketing, Jonathan Prince.

"It’s clear that Salesforce is taking Slack is a direction that is more aligned to extending and enabling their Customer 360 Platform, rather than Slack being a general productivity platform."

Co-CEO Taylor decided to resign from his joint leadership position only a year after taking it on. His last day is set to be 31 January 2023 where he’ll step down from his current role as well as his vice chair position.

He’s not the only executive to leave, however, as it was reported that Mark Carter, Salesforce’s cyber security executive, is also set to leave although it hasn’t been publicly announced.

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