- Salesforce’s executive suite got a shakeup in February, when co-CEO Keith Block suddenly stepped down.
- CEO Marc Benioff used the occasion of Block’s departure to point out that Salesforce has a strong executive bench — including Bret Taylor, who joined in 2016 after the acquisition of his startup Quip, and quickly rose through the ranks to become chief operating officer.
- Taylor’s not alone, many other executives who’ve joined the company through its various acquisitions are quickly rising through the ranks and playing key roles at the company as well, including key execs at Tableau.
- These are the 21 rising star executives at Salesforce that are expected to have an outsized impact on the company’s future growth.
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Salesforce’s executive suite got a big and sudden shakeup in February, when it was announced that co-CEO Keith Block would be leaving the company.
Marc Benioff, founder and once again sole CEO of Salesforce, used the opportunity of Block’s departure to highlight the strength of the remaining executive bench, including cofounder and CTO Parker Harris, CFO Mark Hawkins, legal chief Amy Weaver, and Bret Taylor, recently named chief operating officer.
Taylor, especially, has risen to a place of prominence in the company, after joining the company in 2016 by way of the acquisition of his company Quip. Before that, he was Facebook’s CTO and then a prominent engineering leader at Google, helping lead the creation of Google Maps.
Even before Block’s departure, analysts and industry-watchers anticipated that Taylor could be heir apparent to Benioff– especially given persistent speculation that Benioff might one day step back as CEO in order to focus on political and social activism.
But Taylor isn’t the only executive at Salesforce to see a heightened profile: Benioff particularly spotlighted Adam Selipsky, CEO of Tableau — which Salesforce acquired last year for $15.7 billion — and Gavin Patterson, Salesforce’s new head of international business.
All of these execs, and more, are going to play a major role at Salesforce going forward, as it aims towards ambitious growth targets and fends off competitive threats from the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.
Here are the 21 rising stars at Salesforce that are expected to have an impact the company’s future growth:
Adam Blitzer, executive VP and general manager, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Community Cloud
Adam Blitzer runs some of Salesforce’s newer business lines — Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Community Cloud. He took on this expanded role in January, after having been CEO of Marketing Cloud.
Blitzer came to Salesforce in 2013 via a series of acquisitions. Blitzer cofounded a marketing automation startup called Pardot, which was acquired by ExactTarget. The year after that ExactTarget was acquired by Salesforce, and was used as the foundation of the product now known as Marketing Cloud.
Prior to his current role, he headed up Salesforce’s flagship business, Sales Cloud, as its executive VP and general manager. He also briefly headed up Service Cloud, its customer service product, as well.
He helped launch the company’s customer data platform, which is supposed to give customers a “360 degree view ” of all of their customer data, across all of their various software systems in the sales, service, and marketing departments. This is a key strategy for the company, putting Blitzer right at the heart of Salesforce’s growth ambitions.
Adam Selipsky, Tableau President and CEO
Adam Selipsky joined Salesforce via its $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau last year, its largest to date. In his role, he oversees all of Tableau’s company strategy, business activities and operations.
Tableau is strategically important for Salesforce, as a way to help its customers analyze and make useful all of the information gathered by its other products.
Selipsky joined Tableau in 2016 and is credited for revamping the data analytics company when it was struggling under previous leadership.
Before that, he was vice president of marketing, sales and support at Amazon Web Services and helped grow the cloud business from its pre-revenue stage into a $10 billion business, with thousands of employees.
Marc Benioff said on the company’s latest earnings call with analysts that Selipsky “has provided unbelievable value in the short time he’s been here.”
Gavin Patterson, president and CEO of Salesforce International
Gavin Patterson just became the head of Salesforce’s international business in February. He first joined Salesforce last year as its chairman for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, before being promoted to lead the entire international business in February.
He was formerly the CEO at BT from 2013 to 2019.
Marc Benioff has highlighted Patterson’s experience as the chief executive of BT as being invaluable as it looks to expand its international business, a major market opportunity for the company.
Justin Maguire III, chief design officer
Justin Macguire recently got a big promotion to become Salesforce’s first-ever chief design officer, reflecting his work in building the design and user experience team at Salesforce.
In his role, he leads the design strategy and direction for Salesforce and all of its products and manages over 1,000 designers. As part of this new role he also manages a Salesforce experience designer certification and curriculum for outside developers building on its platform.
One of Macguire’s goals is to make sure customers and partners interacting with Salesforce feel like they are dealing with one company, not separate teams, he recently told the San Francisco Business Times.
Earlier in his career, Macguire was on the design team at Microsoft.
Doug Camplejohn, executive VP and general manager of Sales Cloud
Doug Camplejohn joined the company in January and heads up Sales Cloud, the company’s flagship customer relationship management software. He is responsible for the product direction and operations for all sales products at Salesforce, such as Sales Cloud, CPQ, Billing, and Sales Intelligence.
He was previously at LinkedIn — the business social network which, notably, Salesforce tried to acquire in 2016, before losing out to Microsoft and its $26.2 billion acquisition offer.
Camplejohn worked on LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, a tool that helps salespeople find prospects on LinkedIn. It can be used with other Microsoft products like Dynamics 365, which competes with Sales Cloud.
Camplejohn’s experience will be useful as Salesforce looks to expand into new business lines and achieve its goal of using its software to get a “360-degree” view of a customer across a company’s sales, service and marketing departments.
Bill Patterson, executive VP and general manager, CRM Applications
Bill Patterson is responsible for some of Salesforce’s key business areas: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Salesforce Essentials, a streamlined version of its products made for small businesses.
He leads product innovation, growth and customer success for the sales and service software that make up Salesforce’s largest business units, including the versions of the product for small businesses.
He came to Salesforce almost three years ago after a 14 year stint at Microsoft. He notably worked on Microsoft’s product line that competes with Salesforce, Dynamics CRM.
Paula Goldman, chief ethical and humane use officer
Paula Goldman was bought on as Salesforce’s first ever chief ethical and humane use officer last year.
Marc Benioff is known for speaking out on political and social issues. So when employees questioned Salesforce’s contract with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) amid the separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border, he realized the need for someone like Goldman at the company, to help make decisions on complicated political issues.
In her role, Goldman is responsible for making sure that Salesforce products are made and used ethically, and that they ultimately benefit society, including products made with artificial intelligence.
In her first year in the job, she helped develop a corporate policy that bans customers from using Salesforce’s software to sell military-style firearms to private citizens, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, executive VP, industry go-to-market
Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh is responsible for Salesforce’s sales strategy in selling directly to specific industries, and was promoted to the role a year ago. This strategy, championed by former co-CEO Keith Block, is credited with helping the company grow so quickly.
Taychakhoonavudh leads the Industries Go-to-Market team, responsible for its marketing and sales efforts in the Financial Services, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Retail, Manufacturing, Comms & Media, and Travel & Transportation industry sectors.
She also develops relationships with other companies to create partnerships that will help Salesforce sell to these industries. She joined Salesforce in 2009 after 13 years at Oracle.
Jujhar Singh, executive VP and general manager, Salesforce Industries
Jujhar Singh runs Salesforce Industries, and is responsible for managing the various Industry Clouds that Salesforce offers, tailored to specific sectors.
His team is responsible for the product strategy for specific industries like Manufacturing and Consumer Goods Cloud Financial Services Cloud, Health Cloud, and Government Cloud. Salesforce has been increasingly focusing its sales strategy on specific industries, so Singh’s team plays a key role in the company and its continued growth.
He joined Salesforce 2 years ago after 5 years at Microsoft where he led Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s product line that competes with Salesforce.
Patrick Stokes, executive VP, platform shared services
Patrick Stokes manages Salesforce Platform shared services, which are products that can be used across all of Salesforce’s products. These include Einstein (Salesforce’s AI offering), Lightning, Identity, Blockchain and Customer 360 Truth.
Stokes joined Salesforce in 2012 via its acquisition of Buddy Media, where he was the chief product officer. Upon joining Salesforce, he partnered with the Radian6 team to create Social Studio, the first product that was part of Marketing Cloud.
He previously held various roles leading Marketing Cloud, and then was in charge of creating the Customer 360 product — which aims to help companies get a “360-degree” view of their customers across the sales, service and marketing departments. It’s one of Salesforce’s key selling points, so Stokes’ expertise will be crucial going forward.
Adam Caplan, senior VP of emerging technology
Adam Caplan is in charge of research and development of emerging technologies at Salesforce. That involves leading the Salesforce Blockchain team, and advising customers on how best to use it.
Last year, Salesforce released its first Blockchain product, a low-code blockchain development tool on the Lightning platform for developers. As Salesforce continues to invest in these technologies, Caplan’s role will be increasingly important.
Caplan joined Salesforce in 2011 after the company he founded, Mobile Metrics, was acquired by Salesforce.
Qingqing Liu, software engineering principal architect
Qingqing Liu is a software engineering principal architect, and plays a major role in creating mobile applications at Salesforce. Over the last seven years, she has been involved with the vast majority of public-facing mobile applications that Salesforce has released.
That includes the Analytics Cloud and Salesforce Einstein Voice mobile app, which lets users use their voice to add information to their Salesforce software directly from their phone.
She’s driving the overall mobile roadmap at Salesforce and has previously spoken at Dreamforce, the company’s largest annual conference in San Francisco.
Lindsey Finch, executive VP, global privacy & product legal
Lindsey Finch is Salesforce’s executive vice president of global privacy, and its designated data protection officer. She oversees Salesforce’s overall privacy program and makes sure the company is in compliance with data privacy laws like GDPR in the European Union and CCPA in California.
She was promoted to the role last year after having worked as a global privacy lawyer for Salesforce for 12 years, and rising through the ranks. She previously worked on privacy related issues at the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.
Her expertise will be vital as new data privacy laws change how software companies like Salesforce build their products.
Ryan Aytay, Co-CEO Quip & executive VP of strategic partnerships
Ryan Aytay wears multiple hats at Salesforce. He is co-CEO of Quip, the collaboration software startup Salesforce acquired in 2016 for $750 million, where he leads the sales team, strategy, marketing and customer success. Bret Taylor, now the COO of Salesforce, was also a cofounder at Quip.
He also leads Global Business Development and Strategy and therefore handles a lot of the company’s strategic partnerships with companies like Google, Amazon, IBM, Cisco and Facebook.
He joined Salesforce in 2007 and has worked in various roles focusing on corporate development and partnerships over his career there. He worked in Marketing Cloud, led M&A, and helped to start the Salesforce Ventures investment arm.
As Salesforce looks to partnerships and acquisitions to keep growing, Aytay’s role will be vital to the company’s ongoing success.
Kevin Gibbs, general manager Salesforce mobile and Co-CEO, Quip
Kevin Gibbs is the co-founder and co-CEO of Quip, which he started with Bret Taylor in 2012. Quip was acquired by Salesforce in 2016. While Taylor has gone on to become Salesforce’s chief operating officer, Gibbs is still running Quip alongside a new co-CEO, Ryan Aytay.
He is also the general manager of Salesforce mobile and responsible for managing the teams creating mobile applications for Salesforce’s products.
Before creating Quip, Gibbs was at Google, most prominently as the creator of Google App Engine, one of its earliest cloud computing products. He also created the earliest versions of Google’s famed auto-complete search function.
Isabelle Duvernoy, executive VP and COO, Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Isabelle Duvernoy oversees Salesforce’s operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She was just prompted to the role in February. She was previously a senior vice president of engineering for the region.
Before joining Salesforce, Duvernoy worked for IBM’s Europe offices in various marketing and sales roles.
Pip Marlow, CEO, Australia and New Zealand
Pip Marlow is Salesforce’s recently-hired CEO of Australia and New Zealand, joining in August. She leads all of Salesforce’s Austrailia and New Zealand employees and manages customer and community relations in the region.
Before joining Salesforce, she was a senior exec at Suncorp, overseeing everything from strategy and partnerships to customer service. Before that she spent 21 years at Microsoft, and for the last six of those years she was the managing director of Microsoft Australia.
She will be key to growing Salesforce’s global business.
Simon Parmett, CEO & general manager, MuleSoft
Simon Parmett is the chief executive of MuleSoft, which Salesforce acquired in 2018. He joined the company when Salesforce bought MuleSoft 2 years ago, and previously ran MuleSoft’s worldwide sales, services and channels organizations.
MuleSoft provides technology that can connect applications together, whether or not there’s an official integration between them. That’s what makes it possible for Salesforce connect its various products and give companies the ability to get a “360-degree” view of their customers across all departments, from sales and service to marketing.
Parmett joined MuleSoft in 2011 and was responsible for its rapid growth, culminating in the Salesforce acquisition.
Leah McGowen-Hare, VP of Trailhead evangelism
Leah McGowen-Hare is the VP of Trailhead evangelism at Salesforce. Trailhead is Salesforce’s free online learning platform to help people get the skills needed to get a job using its software.
McGowen-Hare is responsible for encouraging people to use Trailhead and showing people how they can benefit from the platform. She encourages Salesforce customers and communities and workforce development organizations to have a culture of continuous learning.
On her LinkedIn profile, McGowen-Hare says she specializes “in developing programs that make tech accessible to everyone.”
Jo-ann Olsovsky, executive VP & chief information officer
Jo-ann Olsovsky oversees Salesforce’s global IT organization, making sure that the company’s cloud products can meet demand. Her organization is the first one to test all of Salesforce’s new products as well.
She was previously the chief information officer at BNSF Railway for 10 years. She helped modernize and digitize the railroad company, including by implementing Salesforce software.
She joined Salesforce 2 years ago and is a key leader as company pitches itself to customers as an organization that can help them digitally transform and modernize their IT.
Lori Castillo Martinez, VP global employee relations and equality
Lori Castillo Martinez is the vice president of global employee relations and equality, a newly-created position at Salesforce. In her role she is responsible for managing employee performance and relations across all of Salesforce’s offices.
She also manages equality initiatives for employees to try and make Salesforce a diverse and inclusive workplace. She joined Salesforce 2 years ago and has quickly risen to an executive level role.
Before coming to Salesforce, she was at McKesson for 10 years where she created the first enterprise-wide strategy, processes and systems for key legal, ethics, and regulatory risk areas.