Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block steps down, with cofounder Marc Benioff returning to sole CEO role

Keith Block

  • Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block has stepped down from his role as co-CEO, about a year and a half after taking the role.
  • Marc Benioff will again take on the sole CEO role and Block will remain an advisor to him.
  • His departure comes as a surprise, as many industry watchers saw him as a potential successor to Benioff.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block has stepped down from his role as co-CEO, about a year and half after he took on the role. Marc Benioff is once again the sole CEO and chairman of the cloud software giant.

Salesforce shares fell over 2 percent on the news.

Block was previously the COO and took the co-CEO role in August 2018. He was seen by industry watchers as a potential successor to Benioff, should Benioff ever leave the CEO role.

Block joined Salesforce in 2013 after over 25 years ar Oracle. Wall Street analysts saw Block's experience leading enterprise tech companies as key to the company's future growth, as it grows its other business lines like Marketing Cloud and Platform. He will stay on as an advisor to Benioff.

"It's been my greatest honor to lead the team with Marc that has more than quadrupled Salesforce from $4 billion of revenue when I joined in 2013 to over $17 billion last year," Block said in a statement. "We are now a global enterprise company, focused on industries, and have an ecosystem that is the envy of the industry."

He added that he is ready for his next chapter and will stay on as an advisor to the company.

The announcement comes as Salesforce released quarterly earnings that beat estimates.

Here is what Salesforce reported for Q4 2020:

  • Revenue: $4.85 billion. Wall Street expected $4.75 billion
  • EPS (adjusted): $$0.66. Analysts forecasted $0.55.
  • EPS (GAAP): Loss of cents $0.28 per share. Analysts forecasted 2 cents per share
  • EPS (adjusted, next quarter): $$0.70 - $0.71 estimated. Analysts predicted $0.68.
  • Revenue (next quarter): $4.875 Billion to $4.885 Billion billion estimated. Wall Street expected $4.83 billion.

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