Salesforce appoints new UK leader to cement focus on local growth

Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia will join the firm in a leadership role from October

Salesforce has appointed a new leader to help achieve its objectives of increased focus and growth in the UK market.

Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, former chief executive of Virgin Money and chairman of the London Stock Exchange, will join the cloud giant in the role of UK and Ireland CEO from October, reporting into Miguel Milano, Salesforce's international president. Paul Smith, general manager of Salesforce in the UK and Ireland will report into Dame Gadhia.

"I've admired Salesforce from afar for a long time. This is a different kind of business, with deeply held values and a true focus on transforming the experience of every customer through cutting edge technology," she said.

"I'm looking forward to working with the team as we continue to invest and support Salesforce's growing customer base in UKI."

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Dame Gadhia - who received her damehood at the end of 2018 for her services to the finance industry and more specifically women in the sector - will be responsible for driving the next stage of growth for Salesforce's UK  and Ireland business.

The appointment follows on from the cloud firm's pledge at last year's London Tech Week to invest some $2.5 billion in the region over the next five years. That investment will take many forms, including a recruitment drive, expanded office space and building out its data centre capacity.

"Salesforce is working closely with the government to ensure innovation and technology are at the heart of the UK economy. Our $2.5 billion investment will help British companies drive innovation, boost productivity and build deeper connections with their customers, all key drivers of economic success," Andrew Lawson - Salesforce's former executive vice president and general manager for the UK - said at the time.

"We know that financial investment alone won't do that, and that's why we're also focused on driving equality and diversity within the industry. Truly innovative businesses need people from multiple disciplines and different backgrounds to solve problems in the most creative and successful ways."

Around 900 new employees are expected to be hired and on-boarded as part of the recruitment drive and a second data centre is planned for this year - a site that will run on 100% renewable energy, according to Salesforce. 

"Jayne-Anne is one of the most respected CEOs in the UK and we are thrilled to welcome her to Salesforce," said Marc Benioff and Keith Block - chairman and co-CEO and co-CEO of Salesforce respectively.

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"The UKI is our largest market outside the US and with Jayne-Anne's leadership we are well-positioned to move into the next stage of growth and success for Salesforce, our customers, partners and communities."

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