Meet the 13 most important execs who left Salesforce in 2021 and 4 new power players who’ve joined

Salesforce has experienced some significant executive upheaval so far this year, including the departures of several members of its C-suite.

In January, Stephanie Buscemi left her role as chief marketing officer and former chief financial officer Mark Hawkins retired. Internal candidates replaced them both: Sarah Franklin – best known for founding Salesforce’s online learning platform Trailhead – became the new marketing chief and Amy Weaver shifted from to finance from legal.

Salesforce has also seen a number of top execs leave to join startups, including chief medical officer Ashwini Zenooz and Tableau CFO Damon Fletcher.

However, alongside the departures came some new executive additions, too, like new Service Cloud CEO Clara Shih. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is also set to join the company once the $27.7 billion purchase closes at the end of this month.

Here are the 13 most important executives who left Salesforce this year and the four who joined since January:

Departure: Stephanie Buscemi, former chief marketing officer

Stephanie Buscemi, Salesforce CMO

Stephanie Buscemi joined Salesforce in 2014 and became chief marketing officer 2.5 years ago. Before her promotion to the C-Suite, she led the product marketing organization and oversaw go-to-market strategy across all of Salesforce’s products.

She also advocated for the firm to be “values-driven” in its approach to everything — from marketing to billing to customer support, according to a 2019 Business Insider interview.

Buscemi left Salesforce in January and took on a new role as the marketing chief of data analytics startup Confluent in March. 


Departure: Mark Hawkins, former chief financial officer

Mark Hawkins Salesforce CFO

Salesforce’s chief financial officer Mark Hawkins retired at the end of January. He will still be “reasonably available” to advise the firm until the end of October, though, and is currently listed in the company’s org chart as CFO Emeritus. 

Hawkins oversaw tremendous growth at Salesforce since he became CFO in 2014, with the firm’s stock price quadrupling and revenue skyrocketing during his six year tenure. Before Salesforce, he worked at Autodesk, Logitech, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and others.

Former chief legal officer, Amy Weaver took over the CFO role as of January. 


Departure: Adam Selipsky, former Tableau CEO

Adam Selipsky Tableau CEO
Adam Selipsky

Former Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky left Salesforce in May to become the new chief executive of Amazon Web Services as former unit head Andy Jass takes on the top spot at Amazon overall. 

Selipsky joined Salesforce via its $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau in 2019 and reported directly to CEO Marc Benioff. He joined Tableau in 2016 and is credited for revamping the data analytics company and accelerating its move to the cloud.

Tableau is strategically important for Salesforce, giving its customers a way analyze all the information gathered by its other products. It’s also one of Salesforce’s fastest growing business units, its latest earnings report showed.

Mark Nelson replaced Selipsky as CEO of Tableau, and is tasked with keeping up Tableau’s steady growth and preserving its brand in the software industry while also making sure it integrates deeply with Salesforce.

Meanwhile, Selipsky’s role at head of Amazon’s cloud business could be key to deepening the partnership between his current and former employers. 


Departure: Tony Prophet, former chief equality and recruiting officer

Tony Prophet
Tony Prophet participates in a panel discussion at Alamo Drafthouse New Mission on June 6, 2017 in San Francisco, California.

Tony Prophet is retiring after five years as Salesforce’s chief equality officer, according to an internal memo seen by Insider, which cited health issues. 

Prophet was hired as Salesforce’s first chief equality officer in 2016 and was responsible for overseeing the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. In May 2020, Prophet’s role expanded to include oversight of recruiting across Salesforce.

Salesforce has long been a vocal advocate for social change and promoting equality in the workplace. However, it’s shown slow progress in actually diversifying its workforce under Prophet’s tenure and, in the past year, several former employees publicly accused it of not adequately supporting underrepresented workers.

Lori Castillo Martinez, Salesforce’s senior VP of global employee relations, will fulfill his duties as the company searches for a new chief equality officer, the memo said.

Departure: Adam Blitzer, executive VP and general manager of Salesforce Digital 360

Adam Blitzer Salesforce
Adam Blitzer

Adam Blitzer ran some of Salesforce’s newest business lines — Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Experience Cloud — before leaving in May to join startup Datadog as its chief operating officer. 

Blitzer came to Salesforce in 2013 via a series of acquisitions: He cofounded a marketing automation startup called Pardot which was acquired by ExactTarget, which was then acquired by Salesforce as the foundation for Marketing Cloud.

Prior to his current role, he held stints running Salesforce’s flagship Sales Cloud business and its customer service product, Service Cloud. He helped launch the company’s customer data platform, which is supposed to give users a “360 degree view ” of all of their customer data across various software systems in sales, service, and marketing.

Salesforce declined to comment on if Blitzer’s role would be filled and, as of late May, his reports reported to product chief David Schmaier.

Departure: Matt Garratt, senior VP and managing partner of Salesforce Ventures

Matt Garratt

Matt Garratt joined Salesforce in 2013 and helped build its VC arm, Salesforce Ventures, into one of the most prolific and influential late-stage enterprise software investors.

Since the fund started in 2009, it has poured money into over 400 enterprise cloud companies, including many well-known names like Zoom, DocuSign, Box, Stripe, and Snowflake. It also funded multiple companies that Salesforce ultimately acquired, including Quip, MuleSoft, and Vlocity.

Garratt left to join venture firm CRV as a general partner, reuniting with CRV partner Murat Bicer, with whom he worked at Battery Ventures from 2008 to 2012. 

Alex Kayyal, who was previously the head of Salesforce Venture’s European arm, is taking over as managing partner for all of Salesforce Ventures

Departure: Damon Fletcher, former CFO of Tableau

DataRobot leadership
Dan Wright and Damon Fletcher are the CEO and CFO of DataRobot.

Former Tableau CFO Damon Fletcher left the Salesforce-owned company in May, for a CFO role at artificial-intelligence startup DataRobot. Fletcher left a few months after former CEO Adam Selipsky left and Mark Nelson was named his replacement.

Fletcher had been at Tableau for seven years in various finance roles, including three years as CFO, and navigated Salesforce’s $15.7 billion acquisition in 2019.

Fletcher had reported to Salesforce CFO Amy Weaver before he left. 

Departure: Randy Kern, executive VP and chief customer technology officer

Linkedin profile for Randy Kern chief technology officer at Marqeta

Randy Kern was an executive VP and the firm’s chief customer technology officer. He worked at Salesforce for seven years, initially as an executive VP for infrastructure engineering, and left in May. In June, he started a new role as chief technology officer for online card and payment processing company Marqeta. 

At Salesforce, Kern reported up to Brian Milliam, the president of Salesforce’s customer success group. 

Departure: Thomas McCleary, VP of strategic product partners

LinkedIn profile for Thomas McCleary former VP, Strategic Product Partners at Salesforce

As the VP of strategic product partners, Thomas McCleary was responsible for developing partnerships and strategies associated with making Salesforce’s product’s run, according to his LinkedIn. He left the company in May.

McCleary reported to chief business officer Ryan Aytay and had been at the company for 12 years in various product and strategy roles. 

Departure: Ashwini Zenooz, chief medical officer

Ashwini Zenooz Headshot (1)

Ashwini Zenooz joined Salesforce over two years ago as its first chief medical officer and left in May to join health tech startup Commure.

She helped lead the company’s efforts to sign on more customers in the healthcare and life sciences industry and was instrumental in building out a tool to help customers manage COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Before Salesforce, she worked in the Senate and the Department of Veterans Affairs and as a radiologist. 

Departure: Larry Shurtz, executive VP of North American enterprise

LinkedIn profile for Larry Shurtz Confluent's chief revenue officer

Larry Shurtz left Salesforce in May for a role as Confluent’s chief revenue officer, following Stephanie Buscemi.

At Salesforce, he was an top sales executive who ran the firm’s North American enterprise accounts. He worked at Salesforce for nine years, steadily moving up the ranks of the sales org.

Departure: Sarah Patterson, executive VP of marketing

Sarah Patterson, the chief marketing officer at Samsara

Sarah Patterson left Salesforce in May for a role as the chief marketing officer of Internet of Things startup Samsara.

Patterson worked at Salesforce for 12 years, most recently leading all marketing for Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, but previously running its Europe, Africa, and Middle East product marketing team, among other things. 

Last year, she also led marketing for the launch of Salesforce’s products for helping organizations through the pandemic, and Vaccine Cloud.

Departure: Dan Darcy, senior VP of global enablement

Dan Darcy the chief customer officer for Qualified

Dan Darcy left Salesforce in February after 13 years to join marketing tech startup Qualified as chief customer officer.

At Salesforce, he most recently served as the senior VP for global enablement, responsible for its sales and partner ecosystem. He worked with senior executive leadership across the entire org to develop learning priorities and​ competency strategy for the distribution organization, customers, and partners.

Before that he was head of customer vision and helped put together Salesforce events like Dreamforce. 


Hire: Clara Shih, CEO of Service Cloud

Clara Shih Hearsay Social CEO founder
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Hearsay Social, Clara Shih speaks during the 5th annual Executive Marketing Summit at the New York Stock Exchange on September 30, 2013 in New York City.

Clara Shih is a Salesforce boomerang, rejoining in January as the new CEO of its customer service software division after 11 years away.

She’s stepping into her new role as customer service is rapidly changing, thanks in part to the pandemic, and as Service Cloud experiences significant growth (it’s Salesforce’s biggest cloud offering). 

Shih reports to Bill Patterson, who led Service Cloud for almost two years before being promoted to executive VP and general manager for all customer relationship management tools in January 2020. 

Before coming back to Salesforce, she cofounded and ran a startup called Hearsay Systems, which makes customer service personalization tools for the financial services industry. Her inspiration for launching the company in 2009? Her time running product marketing for Salesforce’s AppExchange.

Hire: Zahra Bahrololoumi, CEO of UK and Ireland

Zahra Bahrololoumi Salesforce UK Ireland CEO

Zahra Bahrololoumi joined Salesforce as the CEO of its UK and Ireland business in March, which the firm plans to invest in heavily over the next few years.

Like other international leaders, Bahrololoumi reports to Gavin Patterson, the company’s chief revenue officer. She joins after Salesforce appointed several new leaders in Europe in 2020, including Angelique de Vries as CEO of Northern Europe, Denis Terrien as CEO of Southern Europe, and Stefan Hoechbauer as CEO of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

She previously ran Accenture’s technology consulting practice with a focus on technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing.




Hire: Silvio Savarese, executive VP and chief scientist

LinkedIn profile for Silvio Savarese salesforce's chief scientist

Silvio Savarese joined Salesforce in April as its new chief scientist. He previously served as an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University and is still an adjunct faculty member there. 

Savarese’s team is, among other things, researching how new technologies like AI can be applied to the company’s product development. 

Salesforce’s previous chief scientist, Richard Socher, left his role after four years last July to start his own company. Salesforce created its research division shortly after the acquisition of Socher’s previous company, MetaMind, to find ways to add AI to its customer-focused products.

Hire: Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO

Stewart Butterfield

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is set to join Salesforce once the $27.7 billion deal closes near the end of July. 

Butterfield will continue to lead Slack as an independent operating unit and Salesforce gains a product visionary and one of Microsoft’s fiercest critics. He will likely report to chief operating officer Bret Taylor and help Salesforce build out its broader collaboration strategy:

CEO Benioff has said that he has long dreamed of turning Salesforce into a hub for productivity and collaboration for business people.



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