Bright Crown Appointment Image by Pexels from PixabayWorkday has appointed Carl Eschenbach as its sole CEO, effective February 1st 2024. Aneel Bhusri, Co-founder and former Co-CEO, remains in the role of executive chair of the Workday Board of Directors. In his executive position, he will remain a strategic advisor to the CEO and will remain involved with the leadership. Aneel will focus on the innovation and the future direction of Workday’s applications and technology platform.

Carl Eschenbach, CEO of Workday
Carl Eschenbach, CEO of Workday

Eschenbach has clearly fitted in well; he joined the board in 2018 and was appointed Co-CEO in December 2022 for a temporary appointment until 2024. It seems as though rather than seek an outsider, Bhusri has persuaded and wants Eschenbach to take over the day-to-day running and has persuaded him to do so.

Eschenbach commented, “Working alongside Aneel for the last year has been a highlight of my career, and has solidified my belief in the opportunities ahead for Workday. I’m honored to serve as CEO of this incredible company and to continue working with our world class leadership team and more than 18,000 Workmates around the globe to build one of the most enduring software businesses of our time.”

Bhusri follows in the footsteps of stepping back from the company he helped found. He will still be deeply involved, but he has found someone who understands the Workday culture, and he clearly feels he is the right man to continue in the role. Stepping back as a founder is often difficult, as Marc Benioff at Salesforce has found over the last few years.

Bhusri commented, “Workday has never been in a stronger position, thanks in large part to the impact Carl has made in his first year. From the start, he has embodied the company’s core set of values and I am confident that he is the right person to help Workday scale and lead us into our next phase of growth.”

A year of growth

Under the guidance of Eschenbach and Bhusir, Workday has, if anything, increased its momentum. Since his appointment, Workday has called out several achievements.

  • Surpassed 65 million users under contract and more than 10,000 global customers.
  • Now has more than 50% of the Fortune 500 and more than 70% of the top 50 companies in the Fortune 500 among its customer base.
  • Workday saw increased momentum for its EMEA business, reaching over $1 billion in annual recurring revenue (ARR). It also opened a second office in Eire.
  • Strengthened its industry businesses, with retail and hospitality joining the company’s financial services industry in surpassing $1 billion in ARR.
  • It expanded its leadership bench with a new CFO, CMO, CIO, and a number of other senior executives across the business.
  • It hosted its largest annual user conferences in the US and EMEA to-date with nearly 20,000 cumulative attendees and 250,000 digital views.
  • Workday solidified its innovation leadership with a number of industry-leading Workday AI announcements.
  • It bolstered its partner ecosystem with new and expanded partnerships with Accenture, ADP, Alight, AWS, and others.
  • Workday was recognized by Comparably Best Places to Work as one of the Best Companies for Women, Best Company Culture, Best Company Diversity, and Best CEOs.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

A change of leadership in a big company is huge. However, the transition through a CO-CEO period should make this smoother. As Bhusri continues to take a step away from the day-to-day running, he is trusting Eschenbach to lead Workday forward. It will be interesting to see what Eschenbach influences and the changes he starts to make as his personality as sole CEO has a greater impact.

Workday hits $1 bn ARR in EMEA and increases guidance



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