Salesforce Faces an Uncertain Future After 2022 Drama and Financial Losses

Once considered a beacon of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) world, CRM leader Salesforce is in the midst of a turbulent period marked by executive exits, stagnating growth, and unexpected layoffs. Between these issues and a general malaise in the tech industry at large, Marc Benioff’s company lost about 47% of its value in 2022. The slump calls into question the stability of the SaaS model and the company’s strength going into 2023.

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Salesforce’s problems began with one of its top executives, former co-CEO Bret Taylor. The then-Twitter board member found himself consumed by the dramatic Elon Musk acquisition saga and announced his departure from Salesforce in November 2022 and is leaving by January 31, 2023. He was followed by chief technology officer Steven Tamm, who left after 18 years with the company. Furthermore, top executives stepped down from two of the company’s most important subsidiaries — Tableau CEO Mark Nelson and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield announced their departures shortly thereafter.

While the executive exodus continued, the company also announced staff layoffs at the end of the year and into 2023, with a rumored plan to cut the workforce by 10%. What staff remain will likely face rearrangements to their hybrid remote work policy that began with the pandemic, potentially causing resentment and alienation.