Salesforce Welcomes Back Former Executives to Drive Growth
Ariel Kelman, a former marketing executive at Amazon Web Services and Oracle, recently returned to Salesforce after over a decade away. He received a direct message from CEO Marc Benioff on Twitter, asking if he was ready to come back. Kelman stated that he thought it was good timing and rejoined Salesforce as Chief Marketing Officer in June.
Miguel Milano, who previously led sales in major international markets for Salesforce, also returned in June as Chief Revenue Officer. Milano was convinced to come back by Salesforce operating chief Brian Millham, who spent his vacation in Madrid persuading him. Kelman and Milano are among at least eight ex-Salesforce execs who have rejoined the company this year.
Prior to the recent economic challenges, Salesforce had been making large acquisitions to fuel growth and expand into new markets. However, with the current economic climate, the company is focusing on refining its sales approach and relying more on its own products.
During Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, the company hosted an event for 50 former employees, giving them special seats and custom swag. Benioff expressed his excitement in welcoming back former colleagues, and Millham mentioned that they hit the ground running.
Stock is Up, but Growth is Slow
In January, Salesforce announced a restructuring plan that involved cutting 10% of its workforce. This move was a result of hiring too many people leading into the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Activist investors also put pressure on the company to show stronger growth and profit.
However, Salesforce’s stock has seen a significant increase this year, with investors back on board. The company’s sales and marketing costs have decreased, and it reached its goal of a 30% adjusted operating margin ahead of schedule. Despite this, revenue growth has been slow at around 11% for the past two quarters.
Kelman mentioned that Salesforce is utilizing its Data Cloud tool to improve marketing performance and aggressively grow all metrics. The company is also looking to improve efficiency by making its products more accessible to prospective clients without involving salespeople.
Millham, who has been with Salesforce for 24 years, expressed his commitment to the company and stated that he intends to end his career there.