“I’m really excited to be joining the Salesforce team. I’ve always looked to lead and learn from companies who have strong values and passion for their people, customers and innovation – Salesforce builds on this,” Marlow said in a statement.
“I look forward to working with the Salesforce team to transform the connections companies have with their customers and communities.”
Marlow’s appointment was made 24 hours after it was announced she was leaving her role as CEO of customer marketplace at Suncorp.
“Pip is one of the most well-respected business leaders in Australia and New Zealand – we are thrilled to welcome her to Salesforce to lead us into the next chapter of growth and customer success in the region,” Salesforce’s chairman Marc Benioff and co-CEO Keith Block said in a statement.
Marlow, who has three weeks left at Suncorp, said in a message to her Suncorp team on her LinkedIn page:
“One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received is “Don’t wait for a burning platform. Have a burning ambition.” I think it’s a great metaphor for the journey the Customer team has taken, and I have a searing pride in the things we have achieved together,” she said.
“We’ve led the digital transformation of our business, and we have seen these first steps evolve into a strong and lasting digital legacy that we can be proud of.”
Before Suncorp, Marlow had spent more than 20 years at Microsoft where she was appointed managing director in January 2011.
Salesforce is one of the world’s most successful technology vendors, with a market value of US$124 billion (A$183 billion). It has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, mainly under the leadership of its high-profile co-founder Marc Benioff, as a pioneer of cloud-based software, initially for salespeople.
It has been heavily investing in Australian expansion in recent years, and has 1,500 staff across Australia and New Zealand. It counts a host of leading local businesses, such as Telstra, Westpac, NSW Government and Australia Post among its clientele.
Earlier this year Salesforce committed US$50 million to an Australia Trailblazer Fund, targeted at backing local technology start-ups. In Australia, it has backed companies such as cybersecurity firm Bugcrowd, marketing automation software company Autopilot and Salesforce partner Sqware Peg.
Marlow is a non-executive director of the Australian Rugby Union, sits on the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Board at the University of Technology Sydney and is a member of Chief Executive Women, an organisation committed to supporting and growing women in executive positions. She’s also a judge at The CEO Magazine’s 2019 Executive of the Year Awards.
“Each day, throughout 365 days a year, executives are thinking about what they can do for customers and the people they lead. They are working hard to innovate and improve the lives of the people they serve and lead every day – so I think it’s fitting that we spend at least one of those days honouring their contribution through the Executive of the Year Awards,” she says when asked about the importance of the event.
In the midst of her busy working life, Pip is raising two daughters, once again working collaboratively with her equally busy husband.
“I spend a lot of time travelling on planes – imagine if we had a tele-transporter – so I could give back all that time I spend on planes to my children and family – that would be pretty fantastic!”
“In the meantime, no matter where I am around the world, the one thing I do every day without fail is to speak to my husband and daughters, to tell them I love them.”