Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to step down in January, making him the fifth executive to leave in just a week
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield announced on Monday that he plans to step down from the chat software developer company a little over a year after Salesforce acquired it for $28 billion. Butterfield will be replaced by Lidiane Jone, who worked as VP in Salesforce’s cloud divisions.
The news comes less than a week after Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor announced he was stepping down from his position at the end of January. Butterfield, who could have become a successor to Taylor, said he’s been planning on leaving for months, and that his departure is just “weird timing.”
At least five top executives have departed from Salesforce in the last few days including Bret Taylor (co-CEO), Mark Nelson (CEO, Tableau), Stewart Butterfield (CEO, Slack), Tamar Yehoshua (CPO, Slack), and Jonathan Prince (SVP, Marketing/Comms).
The departures of these executives come at a time when businesses are looking to cut costs in software-as-a-service spending. The SaaS giant has struggled to increase profits in recent years. The company’s projected revenue growth of 8% to 10% would be the slowest year-over-year increase since it went public in 2004.
Slack was founded in 2009 by Stewart Butterfield, Cal Henderson, Eric Costello, and Serguei Mourachov. Slack is a popular workplace chat app that allows teams and businesses of all sizes to communicate effectively. The slack software platform is used by global Fortune 100 companies.
In December 2020, Salesforces acquired Slack for an enterprise value of $27.7 billion. The deal, which includes a combination of stock and cash, makes it Salesforce’s largest acquisition since its $15.3 billion purchase of Tableau last year and the $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft in 2018.
Two years earlier, Salesforce acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion, the company’s biggest deal ever at the time, to help connect cloud applications. The following year it spent more than twice that amount on Tableau, acquiring the data visualization company for $15.3 billion. Below are Salesforce’s top ten acquisitions.
The acquisition of Slack would be one of the biggest software deals ever for the tech industry. It would rank among Microsoft’s $27 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016 and Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp in 2014.