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Industry Contributor 12 Aug 2019 - 2 min read

New Salesforce CEO is Suncorp's former $2m woman

By Paul McIntyre - Executive Editor

Salesforce has created a new role for Pip Marlow, former Suncorp CEO, Customer Marketplace, as its first Australia and New Zealand CEO.

 

Key points

  • Marlow resigned from Suncorp last week after her former CEO Michael Cameron left in May following investor unease at his digital Marketplace strategy - an Amazon-like market for financial services beyond Suncorp products and brands, led by Marlow. 
  • Marlow is a former Microsoft Australia managing director
  • Salesforce global CEO and founder Marc Benioff sang Marlow's praises: "Pip is one of the most well-respected business leaders in Australia and New Zealand," he says.
  • Marlow remains a non-executive director of the Australian Rugby Union

There was probably more to Pip Marlow's comments in the AFR in June than meets the eye about an obsessive fear and avoidance of innovation failure among senior Australian company executives, boards and the investment community. Marlow - on a base package of $2m - was part of Suncorp's grand plan to do an Amazon in financial services with its "Marketplace" strategy. But the architect and former Suncorp CEO Michael Cameron resigned in May. Marlow told the AFR a few months back that unlike Australia, Silicon Valley "expected smart, honest failure".

For all the talk about disruption, innovation and consultant-led transformation programs, big Australian companies keep choking. Over at Salesforce, Marlow, a former Microsoft Australia boss, will be in her element. But she will have to deal with rising frustration among brand owners about matching the tech-led dream Salesforce sells to real-world implementation and success on the ground. Suncorp will provide plenty of context for her on that.      

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Paul McIntyre

Executive Editor

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