Salesforce Names Keith Block Co-CEO

Salesforce promoted COO Keith Block to the role of co-CEO on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in a move that reportedly won’t change much.

Block will share the role of co-CEO with founder and board chairman Marc Benioff. Block has served as Salesforce’s vice chairman, president, and director, since joining the company in June 2013. He came over from Oracle and has since seen the company’s revenue nearly triple and its stock price jump by about 250 percent.

Most recently, he served as the company’s COO. Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment about naming Block’s successor.

“Keith has been my trusted partner in running Salesforce for the past five years, and I’m thrilled to welcome him as co-CEO,” Benioff said in a news release. “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.”

Growth is undeniably in the air with this promotion, and that likely includes acquisitions. Just last month, DMN Editor-in-Chief Kim Davis wrote of the latest grab — Datorama — by the “Benioff beast,” as well as some questions that it raised about the future for Salesforce. He wrote:

“We learn this week that Datorama is set to follow in the footsteps of ExactTarget, Krux, Mulesoft, and so many other independent software companies, and vanish into the belly of the Benioff beast. Salesforce will acquire Datorama for an unconfirmed sum, reported as in excess of $800 million … Some obvious questions arise:

  • Didn’t Salesforce Marketing Cloud already provide a single source of truth when it came to brands’ marketing data?
  • Isn’t Salesforce Einstein a genius? Why would you need two geniuses in the room?
  • It’s hard to see the benefit in a Datorama app running on the Salesforce platform alongside the Marketing Cloud. Will Datorama’s functionality be integrated invisibly with the Marketing Cloud, and if so, are their weaknesses in what Marketing Cloud was already doing which Datorama will serve to patch?
  • Or is Salesforce just acquiring some smart tech and smart people; a sort of asset strip?”

As for the new co-CEO strategy, it certainly seems uneventful — especially because of the existing relationship between Benioff and Block.

“Salesforce’s success is a testament to Marc’s visionary leadership, which has created an unparalleled culture of trust, innovation and equality, as well as a relentless focus on customer success,” said Block in a news release. “I’m honored to be co-CEO and to leverage each of our strengths as we lead Salesforce, our employees, customers and partners into the future.”

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