Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to step down in January

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to step down in January

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Slack Technologies LLC co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield will leave the team collaboration provider next month. 

The news was first reported by Insider this morning. Following the report, Slack parent company Salesforce Inc. confirmed the development in a statement to TechCrunch. Butterfield is set to be replaced by Lidiane Jones, the executive vice president and general manager of digital experiences clouds at Salesforce.

Butterfield (pictured) joined Salesforce last year after the cloud giant acquired Slack in a $27.7 billion cash and stock deal. Previously, Slack traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The team collaboration provider went public in 2019 at a $21 billion valuation and earlier raised more than $1.2 billion from investors.

Butterfield launched Slack in 2013 after previously co-founding photo sharing platform Flickr. Butterfield also co-founded Tiny Speck Inc., a startup focused on video game development. Slack was originally developed at Tiny Speck as an internal collaboration tool.

“Stewart is an incredible leader who created an amazing, beloved company in Slack,” Salesforce stated today. “He has helped lead the successful integration of Slack into Salesforce and today Slack is woven into the Salesforce Customer 360 platform.”

In an internal memo to Slack employees, Butterfield reportedly stated his planned departure is not related to the recent announcement that Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor will step down next month. “Planning has been in the works for several months. Just weird timing,” Butterfield wrote in the memo.

Butterfield added that two other members of the Slack leadership team will also step down. Slack chief product officer Tamar Yehoshua and Jonathan Price, the team collaboration provider’s senior vice president of marketing, brand and communications, are set to leave the Salesforce subsidiary.

The leadership change at Slack comes a few days after another Salesforce subsidiary, Tableau Software LLC, announced the departure of CEO Mark Nelson. Nelson joined Tableau in  2018 as executive vice president of product development and became CEO last March.

Tableau became part of Salesforce through a $15.7 billion acquisition that closed in 2019. It develops a popular data visualization platform of the same name that companies use to turn business information into easily understandable graphs and dashboards. Earlier, Salesforce acquired application integration provider MuleSoft in 2018 for $6.5 billion.

Salesforce reported financial results for its third quarter ended October 31 last week. The company posted adjusted earnings of $1.4 per share, ahead of the $1.2 per share expected by analysts. Salesforce’s quarterly revenue also surpassed the consensus estimate after growing 14% year-over-year, to $7.84 billion. 

The company estimates that Slack will contribute about $1.5 billion in revenue during its current fiscal year. Overall, Salesforce expects to end 2022 with sales of between $30.9 billion and $31 billion, which represents a 17% year-over-year increase.  

Photo: Slack

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