Salesforce appoints longtime executive Denise Dresser as Slack CEO

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Newly appointed Slack CEO Denise Dresser, Rocket Mortgage Chief Marketing Officer Casey Hurbis and Boston Consulting Group Managing Director and Partner Shilpa Sharma speak during Vox Media’s Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on Sept. 7, 2022.

Randy Shropshire | Getty Images

Longtime Salesforce executive Denise Dresser has been appointed CEO of Slack, Salesforce co-founder and chief executive Marc Benioff announced Monday.

Dresser becomes the third CEO of the Salesforce unit since it was acquired by Salesforce in 2020. Her role as CEO is effective immediately, a Salesforce spokesperson told CNBC.

She has been a Salesforce executive for more than 12 years, according to her company biography and LinkedIn profile, most recently as president of accelerated industries. Dresser will take the top job at Slack after its most recent CEO, Lidiane Jones, accepted the chief executive role at dating app Bumble earlier this month. Jones’ new position as Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd’s successor takes effect Jan. 2.

Jones will stay on through the year to assist Dresser with the transition, the spokesperson said.

Dresser thanked both Benioff and Jones in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday morning. “It’s an honor to move this work forward,” she wrote.

“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 said in his announcement on social media platform X.

Dresser has held several executive positions at Salesforce and serves on the Ad Council’s board of directors. She is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Amherst, and before Salesforce, worked at both Oracle and former Big Five auditor Arthur Andersen.

Slack was acquired by Salesforce for $27.7 billion in a 2020 deal. Since the deal close, numerous senior Salesforce executives have left the company.

Most notably, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield and Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor departed in the span of two weeks in December 2022. Both had joined Salesforce after the companies they founded were acquired. Butterfield’s departure led to Jones’ ascension, and Taylor’s departure came a year after he was promoted to co-CEO of Salesforce alongside founder Benioff. In a message to employees at the time, Butterfield said his departure was unconnected to Taylor’s.

Salesforce shares are up nearly 61% year to date. At the open Monday, shares were well off their 52-week low, set in December 2022, of $126.34.

— CNBC’s Ari Levy and Jordan Novet contributed to this report.

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