After 19 years, Marc Benioff has chosen to share the reins at Salesforce, naming President and COO Keith Block his co-CEO. Block, who decamped from Oracle in 2013 where he ran the sales and consulting groups, will focus on “growth strategy, execution and operations.” Benioff will lead Salesforce’s “vision and innovation in areas including technology, marketing, stakeholder engagement and culture.”
Block emphasized that Benioff is not looking to step down at the company he helped found in 1999. “This is just a natural evolution of what’s been happening over the last five years,” Block told The Wall Street Journal. “Marc is very engaged in the business, and he’s going to work for a very, very long time.”
Block was responsible for Salesforce’s verticalization strategy with targeted offerings in financial services, healthcare, and retail. He also has been out front in explaining recent acquisitions such as the $6.5 billion purchase of MuleSoft in March.
“Keith has been my trusted partner in running Salesforce for the past five years, and I’m thrilled to welcome him as co-CEO,” said Benioff. “Keith has outstanding operational expertise and corporate leadership experience, and I could not be happier for his promotion and this next level of our partnership.”
The firm also named co-founder and CTO Harris Parker to its Board.
“Since our founding in 1999, Parker has been instrumental in driving Salesforce’s innovation and shaping our culture,” said Benioff.