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Salesforce names Denise Dresser to succeed Lidiane Jones as CEO of Slack

As promised last week, Salesforce announced the replacement today for Slack CEO Lidiane Jones, who stepped down last week after 10 months on the job to become CEO at dating app Bumble.

In a post on X (the social platform formerly known as Twitter) this morning, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced that Denise Dresser, a long-time Salesforce employee with loads of executive experience, would be filling the role.

“I couldn’t be more excited to share the news that Denise Dresser is our new CEO of Slack! Denise is an incredible business leader who has excelled at every level in her career at Salesforce,” Benioff wrote on X.

Writing on LinkedIn, where she wasted no time on changing her title to Slack CEO, Dresser also understandably expressed excitement at being promoted. “I am incredibly humbled to share that I will be joining the team at Slack as CEO,” she wrote.

Her official Salesforce bio describes her this way: “As a 12-year Salesforce veteran, Dresser has excelled in leadership roles of increasing responsibility while building mission-driven, high-performing teams. She has a passion for product-driven customer success, collaborative leadership and mentoring future women leaders and top talent.” She should be able to hit the ground running with that background and her understanding of how Salesforce operates.

Like Jones, she should be able to act as a bridge between Slack, the company that Salesforce acquired for almost $28 billion in 2021, and the Salesforce family of products. But like her predecessor, she has to walk the narrow line between keeping Slack independent, while finding ways to to integrate it more tightly when it makes sense. She also has to keep long-time employees happy, while hearing from customers and Salesforce execs about the direction of Slack.

It won’t be easy, but Benioff expressed confidence in her abilities, based on her extensive experience at Salesforce.

“Her record of success, most recently as president of Accelerated Industries and before that as EVP, Enterprise Sales, includes driving some of our most important customer success ever. Denise is a collaborative technology leader who brings teams together and has inspired me and so many of us with her deep commitment to our values and to our customers and to the spirit of innovation,” Benioff added on X.

Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, sees Dresser as a good internal pick. “Denise is an enterprise pro. She cut her teeth in enterprise performance management and built a reputation for understanding how to sell in industries. It’s a good indication of that they hope Slack will align better with the overall Salesforce Industry strategy,” Wang told TechCrunch. It’s worth noting that enterprise performance management is about improving performance across an organization, a skill which should be a helpful running Slack (or an organization, really).

The change was needed when Jones, who was only hired at the end of last year to replace co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, announced that she was taking on the role of Bumble CEO, a rapid rise from unknown Salesforce executive to Slack CEO to the leader of a public company.

Benioff expressed happiness for Jones and wished her well in her new job in a public statement. “We recognize what an amazing opportunity this is for Lidiane in becoming a public company CEO. And all the more so at Bumble, a truly great company, with great values that we admire dearly,” he said.

Dresser takes on the job immediately, although Jones indicated she would stick around until the end of the year to help with the transition. TechCrunch

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