Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield Is Leaving in January

Stewart Butterfield, in a memo to Slack employees obtained by The Verge (posted, of course, on the company’s internal Slack):

So: why?? Well, we started this company 13.5 years ago (though it’s “only” been 10 years since we started development of Slack itself). It’s been a long and wild run. I am not going off to do something entrepreneurial. Though it may sound hackneyed, I actually am going to spend more time with my family. We have a new baby coming in January. Can I tell you something? I fantasize about gardening. So, I’m going to work on some personal projects, focus on health, and try to learn as many new things as I can.

I suppose this is not surprising at all. Salesforce inked the deal to acquire Slack for $28 billion on December 1, 2020. A two-year stay agreement would mean Butterfield is free to leave ... this week. Butterfield is a consumer-minded product person, and Salesforce is as enterprise-y as enterprise-y gets. The numbers are much bigger for Slack, but it’s kind of amazing how similar the story has been to Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr in 2005.

I have a zillion complaints about Slack, but there’s no denying that, on the whole, it’s a great product and service, and has defined the modern framework for remote work and collaboration.

Monday, 5 December 2022