SAN FRANCISCO (WISH) — Bret Taylor is stepping down as co-chief executive officer of Salesforce, a cloud-based software company with a major footprint in downtown Indianapolis.
The company made the announcement after the close of the U.S. stock markets on Wednesday afternoon. He will leave Jan. 31.
Marc Benioff, 58, will become chief executive officer and chair.
CNBC called the announcement a surprise since Taylor, 43, played a major role in Salesforce acquiring Slack, a messaging app for business. Taylor, many believed, would one day lead Salesforce.
Taylor was chair of Twitter before Elon Musk acquired the company earlier this year. Taylor helped create Google Maps and was once chief technology officer of Facebook.
The Taylor announcement caused Salesforce stock to fall up to 6% in after-the-bell trading. At the close of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the stock had lost more than 36% of its value in the past year.
Also on Wednesday, Salesforce announced revenue of $7.84 billion, up 14% year over year.
Salesforce Tower is the tallest building in downtown Indianapolis. Salesforce is believed to have more than 2,000 employees based from Indianapolis.
“I am grateful for six fantastic years at Salesforce. Marc was my mentor well before I joined Salesforce and the opportunity to partner with him to lead the most important software company in the world is career-defining. After a lot of reflection, I’ve decided to return to my entrepreneurial roots. Salesforce has never been more relevant to customers, and with its best-in-class management team and the company executing on all cylinders, now is the right time for me to step away.”
“It’s bittersweet that Bret has decided to step down as my Co-CEO. He made his mark on Salesforce as an incredible technologist, leader and friend to us all. Bret founded two incredible companies so it’s understandable why he wants to return to his entrepreneurial roots. I’m excited to see his next chapter unfold, as I’ll always be his biggest champion and he’ll always be part of the Salesforce ‘Ohana.”
Marc Benioff, chief executive officer and chair, Salesforce