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Inside the turmoil at Salesforce as executive departures create a leadership crisis

Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories.

On the agenda today:

But first: Ashley Stewart, a chief tech correspondent, is giving us a behind-the-scenes look at Salesforce's succession crisis.

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.

Inside the turmoil at Salesforce

Salesforce's Marc Benioff.
Salesforce's Marc Benioff.

Salesforce's Marc Benioff.Jemal Countess / Stringer

Over the past week or so, at least six top executives from Salesforce and its subsidiaries announced plans to leave, Ashley Stewart, chief tech correspondent, writes.

First, Salesforce was blindsided by co-CEO Bret Taylor's resignation less than one year after he took the job. Others soon followed, most notably Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson.

Company insiders attribute these departures to co-CEO Marc Benioff exerting increasing control over the company, adding that he's driven away his closest lieutenants while dialing up performance pressure on employees.

The departures have created a crisis in leadership at Salesforce. As the company tries repeatedly to make a succession plan for Benioff, the cofounder seemingly won't let go — and is increasing his influence as a recession looms.

"Now that the market is tough, Marc behaves as if he has complete control," a person close to Benioff told Insider, adding that Benioff was increasingly interfering in the part of the business Taylor was meant to run and putting more pressure on sales teams.

And on to this week's top stories.

What went wrong at Bright Health

Photo Illustration of Mike Mikan of Bright Health.
Photo Illustration of Mike Mikan of Bright Health.

Bright Health; Vicky Leta/Insider

The health-insurance upstart went public in June 2021 at a dizzying $11.2 billion valuation. By the time of its first investor day as a public company in December 2021, it had 700,000 members across 17 states.

But less than a year later, Bright has taken a hatchet to most of its business as it works to stave off a collapse. Its stock price is hovering around $1, and its market value has tumbled to about $600 million — and experts and company insiders blame Bright's pursuit of rapid growth for its undoing.

Insiders describe Bright Health's fall from grace.

Citadel's anniversary extravaganza

Photo of Citadel founder Ken Griffin next to an image of Mickey Mouse waving
Photo of Citadel founder Ken Griffin next to an image of Mickey Mouse waving

Citadel; Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images

Citadel has plenty of reasons to celebrate this year, and the hedge-fund giant is doing it in style — with a lavish 20th-anniversary bash at Disney World.

Last weekend, its founder, Ken Griffin, treated Citadel's and Citadel Securities' employees and their families to an all-inclusive weekend at the "happiest place on earth." Some 10,000 people descended on the park, where they had an exclusive night at Epcot and saw a concert headlined by Coldplay.

Inside Citadel's all-expenses-paid Disney weekend.

Tesla will pay for Musk's Twitter gamble

Elon Musk surrounded by spinning plates holding Tesla and Twitter logos
Elon Musk surrounded by spinning plates holding Tesla and Twitter logos

PHILIP PACHECO/Getty, caracterdesign/Getty, Tyler Le/Insider

When Elon Musk took over Twitter, he dismissed the company's top brass and a boatload of employees, and implemented a "hardcore" culture for its remaining skeleton crew.

But there's still a key question at hand: How will Musk keep his new acquisition afloat? The answer could lie in the mogul's crown-jewel company: Tesla. That should leave Tesla investors with another important question: Just how far will he go to save the social-media platform?

How Musk could use his EV company to save Twitter.

For more on all this, check out:

The 'office apocalypse' is upon us

tall office buildings looming over above, the negative space between them forming a down-trending arrow in a red-orange sky
tall office buildings looming over above, the negative space between them forming a down-trending arrow in a red-orange sky

Marianne Ayala/Insider

Before the pandemic, 95% of offices were occupied. Now that number has almost halved.

Remote work is turning the office-centric downtown into a thing of the past. Without robust policies to rescue failing metropolitan centers, cities are going to start hurting badly — less foot traffic, faltering real estate, and reduced tax revenue and sales receipts for small businesses.

Here's what the future of cities could look like.

This week's quote:

"There's a lot of work that goes into it up front. But what's cool is once you have it set up, you basically just click a few buttons."

  • Trevin Peterson, a 26-year-old who now makes $107,000 in revenue a month selling on Amazon.

More of this week's top reads:

And while you're still here: If you don't already receive it, our newsletter Insider Today highlights the most fascinating stories in the world each weekday, as picked by our global editor in chief, Nicholas Carlson. Sign up for it here.

Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Phil Rosen, and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.

Read the original article on Business Insider