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The Wall Street Journal: Growing strains between Salesforce co-CEOs Benioff and Taylor in months ahead of departure announcement

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Tensions had been growing between Salesforce Inc.’s
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 co-Chief Executives Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor over their responsibilities and how the business was run for months before the business-software provider said last week that Taylor would exit the role, people familiar with the executives said.

Benioff, who is also co-founder, became frustrated about how Taylor was spending his time, the people said. Among his concerns were whether Taylor was spending too much time in a new role as Twitter Inc.’s chairman, too much time with other CEOs and customers and not enough time on Salesforce product and engineering, the people said.

While the two had worked well together, cracks started forming in recent months that created friction between the men, the people familiar with the matter said. Ahead of Salesforce’s announcement that Taylor would exit, there was some discussion about trying to work things out and arranging for Taylor to stay for another year or so, but that didn’t pan out, some of the people said.

The growing strains ultimately resulted in Salesforce’s announcement last week that Taylor would vacate the co-CEO role on Jan. 31, with Benioff becoming the sole leader again and continuing to serve as the company’s chairman. Taylor, 42 years old, has shared the top role with Benioff for about a year. His planned departure marks the second time in less than three years that Benioff has parted ways with someone installed as his co-CEO.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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