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Slack names longtime Salesforce executive Denise Dresser as new CEO

Ellen Thomas   

Slack names longtime Salesforce executive Denise Dresser as new CEO
  • Denise Dresser, a longtime Salesforce exec, will become the new CEO of Slack.
  • Lidiane Jones, who was Slack's CEO for less than a year, is leaving for the top job at Bumble Inc.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Monday that Slack had named Denise Dresser as its next chief executive. She'll succeed Lidiane Jones, who's leaving at the end of the year.

Dresser, who has worked for Salesforce for 12 years, is president of accelerated industries at Salesforce.

"Denise is an incredible business leader & champion of Salesforce customer success and innovation who's deeply committed to our values and our customers," Benioff tweeted.

Jones is set to start as CEO of Bumble Inc. on January 2. The dating-app company announced last week that it had tapped Jones to lead it as its founding CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, steps down.

Jones has led Slack for less than a year. Salesforce, which acquired Slack in 2021, tapped Jones to lead the company at the end of last year, after its founding CEO, Stewart Butterfield, announced he was leaving. Jones started in January.

Dresser will become Slack's third CEO in roughly a year. Butterfield's exit was one of the first in a series of Salesforce executive departures that began late last year, some of them after only a brief period in their roles.

In the past year, Bret Taylor, a co-CEO; Mark Nelson, the CEO of Tableau; Gavin Patterson, the chief revenue officer; and Ebony Beckwith, the chief business officer, have all left the company. Salesforce said in August that its chief people officer, Brent Hyder, would leave to "pursue a new opportunity." In September, Salesforce's chief trust officer, Vikram Rao, departed after 18 months in his role.

Salesforce recently began a hiring campaign after months of layoffs and budget cuts. Benioff has said he wants to hire 3,000 people as the company ramps up its generative-AI efforts. Benioff has indeed brought back several "boomerangs," or employees who left Salesforce on their own and decided to come back, in the past several months. One of them is Ariel Kelman, Oracle's former chief marketing officer, who left Salesforce in 2011.

Early this year, Salesforce cut 10% of its workforce — close to 8,000 people — as part of a restructuring plan meant to satisfy activist investors pressuring the company to up its profit margins.

A group of activist investors including Elliott Management and Starboard Value began circling Salesforce last year, calling for the company to dramatically cut costs and focus on profit over growth, a departure from Benioff's leadership style since starting the company over 20 years ago.

Since the layoffs, Salesforce has focused intensely on employee productivity and performance, which rank-and-file employees have said were not as scrutinized in the past.

To contact Ellen Thomas with insight or information about Slack or Salesforce, reach out at or call/text (646) 847-9416 using the encrypted-messaging app Signal.

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