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Security tech chief quits Salesforce as list of top-table departures grows

CRM slinger's annus horribilis continues as 'father of SSL' departs for VC fund

The exodus of senior execs from Salesforce has continued with chief technology officer of security Taher Elgamal using LinkedIn to announce his departure.

The pioneer of SSL is the second senior security person to exit Salesforce in recent months after Mark Carter, executive vice president of security, headed for the door in a tumultuous period at the CRM slinger's top table.

In a social media post, Elgamal said: "After 10 years of serving as the Security CTO at Salesforce, I decided to join [venture capital investors] Evolution Equity Partners as a general partner. I made many friendships at Salesforce over the last 10 years that I will always cherish."

In a statement to the press, a Salesforce spokesperson said the company was "grateful" to Elgamal for his tenure and wished him well.

According to his own LinkedIn profile, Elgamal received a lifetime achievement award from the RSA conference in 2009. Inventor of several industry and government standards in data security and digital signatures – including the DSS government standard for digital signatures – he claims to be the "father" of SSL.

Elgamal's departure comes at a difficult time for the 23-year-old SaaS company. Earlier this month, it announced a 10 percent cut to its workforce, blaming over-expansion during the pandemic. The turnaround measures are set to cost between $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion.

The latest departure follows a number of senior figures who have quit Salesforce, which unwound its CEO job share arrangement. Co-CEO Bret Taylor said he would leave the company in January 2023 – leaving Marc Benioff occupying the one remaining big chair. Other execs departing include chief strategy officer Gavin Patterson, Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterworth, and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson.


Salesforce: There's no more Slack left to cut


Following Salesforce's Q2 results, CEO Marc Benioff said sales cycles were getting stretched as customers took a more measured approach to deals. Nonetheless, Q3 revenue hit $7.84 billion, up 14 percent year on year, and produced net income of $210 million – a drop from $468 million in 2021's corresponding quarter.

While Salesforce has blamed the pandemic for its recruitment miscalculation, others have cited its acquisition strategy, which has seen it swallow Slack, Tableau and MuleSoft, as a reason for its current fiscal discomfort. ®

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