Marc Benioff sole CEO of Salesforce after Keith Block steps down

Andrew Cummings
February 27, 2020

The company has spent more than U.S.$16 billion a year ago for acquisitions, adding muscle to its cloud products as it fends off competition from bigger rivals like Oracle Corp and German competitor SAP.

Block's resignation is effective immediately, but he's agreed to stay on for a year as an advisor, allowing his unvested stock tranches to continue to accrue. "We are now a global enterprise company, focused on industries, and have an ecosystem that is the envy of the industry, and I'm so grateful to our employees, customers, and partners".

Benioff thanked Block for his seven years as a Salesforce executive. Block will be an adviser to the CEO, the company said. "Given the ongoing turmoil in global markets, it's not a bad time to make this sort of announcement".

The timing may not be all that great for Benioff however, at least not on a personal level as he has previously hinted that he has plans to retire at some point, said Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller.

"Those plans are now on hold for Benioff", Mueller said.

In announcing the acquisition on Tuesday, Salesforce said it was "important for our customers to have products that speak the language of their industries". He simultaneously took a seat on the company's board. Those customizations include things such as problem handling and workflow and product configuration.

Vlocity's solutions for industries including communications and media, energy and utilities, health, insurance, and financial services have been built on and in partnership with's Force platform.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 66 cents per share, beating estimates of 56 cents per share. Analysts projected $20.9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which is at the top end of what the company had forecast in early December.

Revenue from Sales Cloud, the company's flagship product, grew about 17% to $1.23 billion in the quarter ended January 31.

"Salesforce believes that by focusing on verticals, it will be able to double its revenue within a couple of years", Silicon Valley entrepreneur consultant Sramana Mitra wrote recently on her blog.

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