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Keith Block Steps Down as Salesforce co-chief executive

Salesforce said Keith Block (pictured) has stepped down as the company’s co-chief executive 18 months after taking up the role. The company’s co-founder and chairman Marc Benioff will become its sole chief executive. Salesforce’s leadership page has already removed Block’s bio from its page.

Block was appointed as co-chief executive in  August 2018. He has served in various capacities during his seven years at the cloud software giant, including as a director, president, and vice-chairman of the board. Before he joined Salesforce, he spent many years at Oracle and left in 2012 after criticizing Oracle’s chief executive Mark Hurd, who died last year.

Block said: “It’s been my greatest honor to lead the team with Marc that has more than quadrupled Salesforce from $4bn of revenue when I joined in 2013 to over $17bn last year.”

Creating a divide and conquer strategy

Earlier last year, Benioff told reporters that he promoted Block to the co-chief executive position because he wanted to create a “divide and conquer strategy” and to allow Benioff enough time to concentrate on areas he loves doing.

Salesforce also announced revenue of $4.85bn for its fiscal fourth quarter and adjusted earnings per share of 66 cents—both of which exceeded analysts’ forecasts. Sales for the full year jumped 29% to $17.1bn.

It also agreed a $1.33bn deal for Vlocity, a provider of cloud and mobile software to companies. Both parties expect to close the deal before the second quarter of next year.

In a busy day for the firm, it added it had appointed Gavin Patterson as the new chief executive and president of Salesforce International. Patterson joined the company in September last year as head of Europe and the Middle East region. Before he joined Salesforce, he was chief executive of UK telecoms BT Group.

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Ali Raza

A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.