Slack’s new CEO, Lidiane Jones, brings 20 years of product expertise to the job


We’ve heard an terrible lot over the previous couple of weeks concerning the executives who’re leaving Salesforce, however not a heck of lots concerning the lady who’s taking up for Stewart Butterfield as CEO at Slack when he takes off to spend a while gardening. It’s time we modified that.

Her identify is Lidiane Jones, a girl with a deep background in enterprise software program. (I requested an interview with Jones for this piece, however the firm was not making her out there to talk with the press.) Surprisingly, most of the analysts I check with about Salesforce knew little about her, however that could possibly be as a result of she simply hasn’t been made out there on analysts’ days.

That will probably change when she takes over on the finish of subsequent month.

But she didn’t come out of nowhere. Jones, who lives within the Boston space, has been at Salesforce for 3 years and rapidly rose up the ranks: She began as head of product for Commerce Cloud, then was bumped as much as GM of Commerce Cloud earlier than — previous to her promotion this week — holding the title of GM of Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Experience Cloud, which mainly encompasses the corporate’s whole B2C enterprise.

Before that, she spent 13 years at Microsoft engaged on quite a lot of merchandise, from Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project to Enterprise Application Virtualization, Office Collaboration and eventually Azure Machine Learning.

She additionally spent virtually 4 years at Sonos as VP of product administration. Her distinctive mixture of enterprise and shopper expertise ought to put together her nicely for her new job operating Slack, the place she must stroll a wonderful line between consumer expertise and enterprise necessities.

In Butterfield’s farewell Slack announcement, made out there to Thealike by sources earlier this week (was it solely this week?), he effusively praised his substitute. While he could possibly be attempting to promote her to a skeptical group used to his decade of regular management, it appears like he additionally genuinely likes her:

So, about this Lidiane. You’re going to like her. She’s pragmatic and sensible, insightful, passionate, inventive, type, and curious. She’s proper at that little diamond-shaped coronary heart within the four-circle Venn diagram of Smart, Humble, Hardworking, and Collaborative. Before Salesforce she spent 4 years main product at Sonos the place she fell in love with Slack. She has a deep respect for our method to product, our buyer obsession, and our distinctive tradition. She’s one among us.

That’s a fairly sturdy welcome, and Anand Thaker, a advertising know-how advisor and the founding father of a number of startups who follows Salesforce carefully, additionally believes that she’s a great match for Slack.

“She has a solid technical and management background, and the projects and groups she has been working on within Salesforce — experience, marketing, commerce — were all places Slack would fit and drive the best value. Each of these has strong consumer commerce elements where the larger growth (or less churn) will likely come and is in line (reading the tea leaves) with where Beinoff has wanted Salesforce to go,” Thaker informed Thealike.

Butterfield added that her roles inside Salesforce will make her a powerful voice for Slack contained in the bigger group, which might come in useful because the management handover happens.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal analyst on the agency Deep Analysis, mentioned that in some ways, she is healthier ready for this job than some longtime CEOs.

“I don’t know Lidiane personally, but she seems the logical option as she seemed to do a good job running the Marketing, Experience, Commerce Clouds, and running those is not much different from running multiple large businesses, so ironically she has more true CEO experience as a first-time CEO than many experienced CEOs. Plus she was with Microsoft a long time — and might bring some of their rigor to the table,” he mentioned.

Jones definitely has massive footwear to fill, taking up for a founder-CEO within the midst of a giant transition for the corporate, however with a few many years of tech expertise behind her, she appears greater than ready for the problem.


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