Report indicates friction ahead of Bret Taylor’s resignation from Salesforce • TechCrunch
It seems Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff might have been protesting a bit too much when he gave what seemed like a heartfelt goodbye to his protege, Bret Taylor, last week, insisting to anyone who would listen that he was heartbroken to lose his friend and mentee.
This may not be the whole story. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that there was tension between the two executives over Taylor’s role as co-CEO and his other job as chairman of Twitter’s board of directors, a role that has he held until the end of October, when Elon Musk took over as owner and disbanded the board.
Admittedly, the weirdest part of the report was that people told the WSJ that Benioff was upset that Taylor wasn’t spending enough time on engineering and too much time with other CEOs and clients, a role you’d think that Benioff would want his co-CEO to assume.
That’s precisely the kind of thing former co-CEO Keith Block brought to the job before he left the company in 2020. You’d think that if Taylor’s reason for leaving was frustration at not being able to build something thing, engineering would be where he would spend the majority of his time.
The report went on to suggest that people didn’t know which co-CEO to report to, which sheds light on the whole idea of the co-CEO role. As former Salesforce executive and current Skyflow founder and CEO Anshu Sharma told TechCrunch earlier this week, that’s not really a role at all.
“What is a co-CEO and why do you need one? Well, I mean, you have a CEO and four other CXOs. morning and done that isn’t already done by a CEO?” He asked.
It’s a good question, and if the WSJ report is accurate, it seems people inside Salesforce, including Benioff himself, had a hard time understanding it.
It also begs the question of whether it was just crocodile tears from Benioff when it was announced last week. It seems Taylor’s decision to leave wasn’t just because he wanted to get back to building, as we’d been led to believe.
We asked Salesforce for comment, but the company did not respond to our request at the time of publication. If that changes, we’ll update the post.