(Bloomberg) -- Salesforce.com Inc. named Chief Operating Officer Bret Taylor as co-chief executive officer with co-founder and Chairman Marc Benioff.

Benioff will continue as board chairman of Salesforce, which is the top maker of cloud customer-relations software and one of the world’s 35 most valuable companies by market value. Taylor was also named vice chair.

“Bret is a phenomenal industry leader who has been instrumental in creating incredible success for our customers and driving innovation throughout our company,” Benioff said Tuesday in a statement. “He has been my trusted friend for years, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome him as Co-CEO.” 

Taylor had been seen as the mostly likely successor to Benioff since co-CEO Keith Block left the company in February 2020. Taylor had been promoted to president and COO in December 2019 and in light of Block’s departure took on more of the company’s day-to-day operations. Under the co-CEO system, Benioff had focused on strategic planning and had more time for his political and philanthropic initiatives.

Taylor is a veteran tech executive. He co-created Google Maps in 2005 and later served as Facebook Inc.’s chief technology officer for three years, leaving in 2012 to co-found Quip, a productivity software company. Salesforce bought Quip in 2016. Taylor has been a board member at Twitter Inc. since 2016, and on Monday was named chairman.

Benioff credited Taylor with doing the ground work on the $27.7 billion deal to acquire Slack Technologies Inc., including discussions with Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, and pitching him on the merits of what became Salesforce’s largest acquisition.

“What’s very exciting is this vision that Stewart and Bret have put together,” Benioff said in a December conference call announcing the deal. “It’s a wow.”

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