|In late 2021, things had never been better for Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Demand for cloud-based software boomed amid the pandemic and Benioff was projecting that annual revenue would double to $50 billion in five years.
Then, everything had changed. Benioff’s co-CEO, Bret Taylor, resigned after a “showdown.” Sales slowed. Activist investors swooped in. This January, Salesforce announced plans to lay off 10% of its workforce.
Now, Benioff appears to have righted the ship as far as investors are concerned — averting a proxy battle, and making progress on improving its profit margins.
Insider spoke with dozens of current and recent Salesforce executives and employees, as well as Benioff himself, for an intimate look into a difficult period for the company and its larger-than-life CEO.
“If it hasn’t been a master class in the last six months on how to manage for all stakeholders, then I’ve made a mistake,” Benioff said. “This is how to do it.”