Industry Insights

Benioff adds Co-CEO & Sponsors New Salesforce Transit Center

Earlier this year, I covered Salesforce spilling news on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency and since Salesforce is yet again in the spotlight, this time I decided to discuss the several new positions within the company, including a new co-CEO, CTO and EVP/CCO and the new Salesforce Transit Center, a intermodal transit station in downtown San Francisco.

New Co-CEO Keith Block & CTO Parker Harris

This past week, Salesforce announced that their Board of Directors promoted Keith Block, as the new co-CEO alongside Mark Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

Block is an ex-Oracle exec who, since joining Salesforce as their COO in June 2013, has nearly tripled the company’s revenue to an expected $12.5 billion next year and has taken its stock price up by about 250%.

Benioff, who will go from being sole CEO to co-CEO, will continue to lead the company’s “vision and innovation in areas including technology, marketing, stakeholder engagement and culture,” while Block will lead the company’s “growth strategy, execution and operations,” Salesforce said in a statement to CNBC. 

Benioff commented on the news to say “Keith has been my trusted partner in running Salesforce for the past five years, and I’m thrilled to welcome him as co-CEO. Keith has outstanding operational expertise and corporate leadership experience, and I could not be happier for his promotion and this next level of our partnership."

The same day, Salesforce appointed Co-Founder and CTO Parker Harris to its board of directors “A well-deserved recognition of his outstanding leadership as our CTO” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce in a Twitter post.

“Since our founding in 1999, Parker has been instrumental in driving Salesforce’s innovation and shaping our culture.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the board and look forward to his continued impact on the company.” He added.

Harris also commented on the news to say “It’s been a privilege to be part of Salesforce as we’ve revolutionized the software industry, built a world-class company culture and grown into a Fortune 500 company,” and added “I’m grateful and honored to join the Board of Directors.”

Salesforce Also Adds New EVP/CCO to the List

The news doesn’t stop there. On Monday, Salesforce announced another addition to the team, Brad Burns. Brad officially started his new role on August 13, 2018 as Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer.

“Brad joins Salesforce from AT&T, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for AT&T Communications. There, he led global communications, including public relations, employee communications, reputation management, social media, and executive communications.

He has two decades of experience providing communications counsel to executive teams in highly-competitive industries, especially around financial and M&A communications, high-visibility product launches, communicating globally and intensive issues management.

Brad will oversee Salesforce’s communication organization including PR and Corporate Communications, Corporate Messaging and Content, the Salesforce Newsroom and Blog.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Brad as Chief Communications Officer,” said Benioff “Brad is the perfect fit to lead Salesforce communications through our next wave of growth, innovation and customer success.”

Salesforce Transit Center Unveiled

Transit takers in the San Francisco Bay Area have long awaited for this day to arrive after eight years of patiently waiting. Touted as the “Grand Central Station” of the west, the Salesforce Transit Center rolled out its first bus at around 5:48am on Monday, August 13th.

Owned and operated by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the centre, spanning over one million square feet and four levels above ground in size, came in at a whopping cost of $2.26 billion.

With tens of thousands of people expected to pass through it every day, phase one of the project connects the bus services of AC Transit, WestCAT, and Greyhound with Muni service in San Francisco. Phase Two of the project will bring in Caltrain from the Peninsula and eventually High Speed Rail trains from Southern California into an underground station.

Here are a few of the highlighted features that are included in the new transit center:

  • 270+ digital displays for wayfinding, transit and center information
  • Kiosks to purchase Clipper Cards, Translink, etc.
  • AC Transit, Muni, Greyhound, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak
  • Pop-up retail program featuring cafes, grab-and-go food items for purchase
  • More than 100,000 sq. ft. of permanent retail (fully open in 2019)
  • Ambassadors and 24-hour security
  • Close proximity to BART, Muni Metro, Golden Gate Transit and SamTrans connections
  • Five-acre rooftop park with events and activities; programming year-round
  • Free Wi-Fi (Fall 2018)
  • Bike lockers/racks
  • Public restrooms

Ending Notes

In addition to recent Salesforce announcements, there's no signs of it diminishing. Salesforce could possibly be developing their own alternative to Oracle's database, while Amazon is also said to be moving toward their own open-source technology called NoSQL to steer clear from Oracle. 

With more and more businesses looking to move their data onto the cloud, this could hold some truth behind it, in my eyes. Apparently, Amazon has long had gripes with Oracle contributing to the growing rivalry between the two companies — as well as anti-AWS comments from Oracle’s current CFO and Executive Chairman, Larry Ellison — have added fuel to the fire, according to The Information.

Salesforce has openly sparred with Oracle over the past two years over which one would be first to reach $10 billion in enterprise software cloud sales. But big news was released that could possibly change that dream for Oracle. Last Friday, Oracle was accused of lying to company executive shareholders when explaining why cloud shares were growing.

According to Bloomberg and the investor leading the case “The City of Sunrise Firefighters’ Pension Fund, claimed Oracle engaged in coercion and threats to sell its cloud-computing products, creating an unsustainable model that fell apart, according to the suit seeking class-action status and filed Friday in San Jose, California. The Florida-based firefighter pension fund and other investors lost money when Oracle’s stock plummeted in March after reporting a disappointing earnings report and outlook, according to the lawsuit.”

Is it a coincidence that Oracle also has two co-CEOs, Safra A. Catz and Mark Hurd? Salesforce could've taken a page from their book but time will tell what this and their other announcements will do for their “rivalry” in the months to follow.


Gabriella Pirrone

Gabriella Pirrone

Gabriella is the Digital Marketing Assistant for CMSC Media. She brings a wealth of knowledge from not only a CMS perspective but also content, SEO and eCommerce. She enjoys everything social media and staying ontop of the latest trends in the digital marketing world. 

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