Salesforce is moving to a two CEO model after it promoted executive Keith Block, who was most recently COO, to the position of co-CEO. Block will work alongside Salesforce’s flamboyant founder, chairman and CEO (now co-CEO) Marc Benioff, with both reporting directly to the company’s board.
Block joined Salesforce five years ago after spending 25 years at Oracle, which is where he first met Benioff, who has called him “the best sales executive the enterprise software industry has ever seen.”
News of the promotion was not expected, but in many ways it is just a more formalized continuation of the working relationship that the two executives have developed.
Block’s focus is on leading global sales, alliances and channels, industry strategy, customer success and consulting services, while he also oversees the company’s day-to-day operations. Benioff, meanwhile, heads of product, technology and culture. The latter is a major piece for Salesforce — for example, Salesforce has spent over $8 million since 2015 to address the wage gaps pertaining to race and gender, while the company has led the tech industry in pushing LGBT rights and more.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
This clear division of responsibility from the start may enable Salesforce to smoothly transition to…