In a strategic move, Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff has announced the appointment of longtime executive Denise Dresser as the new CEO of Slack. The decision comes as part of ongoing leadership changes since Salesforce's acquisition of Slack in 2020. Dresser, who has been with Salesforce for over 12 years, previously served as the president of accelerated industries within the company.
The transition in leadership is immediate, marking Dresser as the third CEO of Slack since its integration into Salesforce. She steps into the role following the departure of Lidiane Jones, who is set to become the CEO of Bumble on January 2, succeeding the dating app's founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd.
To facilitate a smooth transition, Jones will support Dresser throughout the year. Dresser expressed her honor and dedication to advancing the work started by Benioff and Jones in response to her new position.
Benioff, taking to the social networking site X (formerly Twitter), commended Dresser as a collaborative technology leader who brings teams together. He acknowledged her profound commitment to values, customers, and innovation. Dresser's extensive experience within Salesforce, coupled with her leadership qualities, positions her as a strategic choice for guiding Slack in its next phase.
Dresser, an alumna of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has a rich professional background, including roles at Oracle and Arthur Andersen before joining Salesforce. She currently sits on the Ad Council board, showcasing her involvement in industry leadership beyond her corporate responsibilities.
The announcement follows a series of executive changes within Salesforce since the acquisition of Slack. Notably, in December 2022, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield and Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor departed within a two-week span. While Butterfield clarified that his resignation was unrelated to Taylor's departure, the transitions marked a significant shakeup in the company's leadership.
Salesforce's acquisition of Slack in 2020 amounted to $27.7 billion, signifying a major strategic move in the tech industry. Despite the leadership changes, Salesforce's stock has demonstrated resilience, experiencing a 61% increase this year. While the shares opened below their December 2022 52-week low of $126.34, the company's overall performance suggests confidence in its strategic direction.
As Dresser assumes the role of Slack CEO, the focus remains on the collaborative and innovative spirit that both Salesforce and Slack have embodied and how Dresser's leadership will shape the future trajectory of the communication platform within the Salesforce ecosystem.