Earnings Results: Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor leaving, stock falls after lower-than-expected forecast

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Stock Market

Salesforce Inc. performed better than expected in the third quarter, but executives issued a fourth-quarter forecast that fell short of expectations on Wednesday and revealed that co-Chief Executive Bret Taylor is leaving the company. Salesforce
shares fell more than 6% after hours, after rising about 5.5% in the regular session to close at $159.97, their fifth gain in the past six sessions. 

The cloud-software company said in a news release that founder, co-CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff will resume the sole CEO role on Jan. 31. Taylor is the second executive to be elevated to co-CEO with Benioff, only to leave with Benioff still in charge. Keith Block stepped down in February 2020 after just 18 months in the position, and Taylor lasted exactly a year in the co-CEO position after being promoted Nov. 30 of last year. “I am grateful for six fantastic years at Salesforce,” Taylor, who was also vice chairman, said in a statement. “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.” On the company’s earnings call, Benioff said “we’re still in a little bit of shock and extremely sad” about Taylor’s exit, but did not answer an analyst’s question about whether he would fill the co-CEO position. At least one analyst said he didn’t see the departure coming: “Given that Mr. Taylor was assumed to be …

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