Salesforce raids Accenture for new UK chief

Zahra Bahrololoumi will join next March as executive vice-president and CEO, Salesforce UK and Ireland.

Bahrololoumi: has spent 22 years at Accenture
Bahrololoumi: has spent 22 years at Accenture

CRM software giant Salesforce has appointed Accenture’s Zahra Bahrololoumi to lead its UK and Ireland business.

Bahrololoumi has spent more than two decades at the consultancy and has been technology lead for the UK and Ireland since 2017.

She will join top execs including former BT chief Gavin Patterson, who was hired last August as chairman EMEA of Salesforce, before being promoted twice: to president and chief executive international, and then in July to president and chief revenue officer, at which point he relocated to San Francisco, home of the company’s HQ.

Salesforce said it expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs in the UK and Ireland over the next two years, after demand boosted revenues across the EMEA region by 36% in the most recent quarterly results to $1.1bn (£820m) – just over one-fifth of its global revenues. 

Bahrololoumi will take up the post of executive vice-president and chief executive at Salesforce UK and Ireland next March. She fills a role that has stood vacant since former Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia stepped down in March after only seven months. Gadhia remains an advisor at Salesforce as well as running Salesforce-backed start-up Snoop.

After Gadhia stepped down, Paul Smith, EVP and general manager for Salesforce UK & Ireland, took on leadership responsibilities, but he left in July to join rival ServiceNow. Since then Stephen Corfield, senior VP and GM, has been the interim lead.

Accenture has promoted Shaheen Sayed, previously health and public service lead UK&I, to replace Bahrololoumi. Sayed will move roles on 1 December.

“We are delighted to have appointed a business leader with the industry breadth and depth that Zahra will bring to the company,” Patterson said. “She's an extraordinary executive with a passion for using technology to transform organisations and improve the state of our world.” 

Salesforce specialises in cloud-based CRM and has become increasingly important in the advertising and marketing industry because of the rise of ecommerce and other data-driven media consumption.


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