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Bret Taylor

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Bret Taylor
Taylor in July 2009
Bret Steven Taylor

1980 (age 43–44)
EducationStanford University (BS, MS)
Known for
Board member of
Karen Padham
(m. 2006)

Bret Steven Taylor (born 1980) is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He is most notable for leading the team that co-created Google Maps and his tenures as the CTO of Facebook (now Meta Platforms), as the chairman of Twitter, Inc.'s board of directors prior to its acquisition by Elon Musk, and as the co-CEO of Salesforce (alongside co-founder Marc Benioff). Taylor was additionally one of the founders of FriendFeed and the creator of Quip. Since 2023, he is chairman of OpenAI and a board member of Shopify.

Early life and education[edit]

Taylor was born in Oakland, California, in 1980, primarily growing up in the East Bay. He graduated from Acalanes High School in Lafayette, California, in 1998. He attended Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degree in computer science in 2002 and 2003, respectively.[2]


In 2003, Taylor was hired by Google as an associate product manager.[3] He led the team working on features such as Search by Location and Google Local—predecessors to Google Maps.[4][5] Taylor left Google in June 2007 to join venture capital firm Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence, where he and several other former Google employees founded the social network web site FriendFeed.[6][7] Taylor was CEO of FriendFeed until August 2009, when the company was acquired by Facebook for an estimated $50 million.[8] The acquisition led to Facebook adopting the "Like" button from FriendFeed.[9] After the acquisition, Taylor joined Facebook and became CTO in 2010.[10]

In 2012, Taylor left Facebook to found Quip, a competitor to Google Docs.[11] Quip was acquired by Salesforce in 2016.[2] That year, Twitter, Inc. announced that Taylor was appointed to their board of directors.[12] In 2021, he became chairman of Twitter.[9] He remained in the position until the entire board of directors was dissolved following the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk in October 2022.[13][14]

In 2017, Taylor was named chief product officer at Salesforce.[2] He was named president and chief operating officer at Salesforce two years later.[15] As COO, Taylor led Salesforce's acquisition of Slack Technologies, which closed in 2021.[16] He also led the creation of a system dubbed Customer 360 at Salesforce[17] and started an associate product manager program at the company.[11] In November 2021, Taylor was named vice chair and co-CEO at Salesforce.[9] On November 30, 2022, it was announced that Taylor would be stepping down as co-CEO and vice chair at Salesforce at the end of January 2023.[18][19] In February 2023, he co-founded an enterprise-focused artificial intelligence (AI) startup, Sierra.[20][21]

In November 2023, Taylor replaced Greg Brockman as the chairman of OpenAI when Sam Altman was briefly ousted and reinstated as CEO of the company by its board members.[22][23][24] He also serves on the board of Shopify since 2023.[25][22]

Personal life[edit]

He married Karen Padham in 2006, whom he met while working at Google. The couple has three children.[2] He is a fan of Stanford football. His father, mother, and older sister also attended Stanford.[26]


  1. ^ Tilley, Aaron; Wells, Georgia (December 18, 2021). "At Twitter and Salesforce, Bret Taylor Steps Into the Limelight". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Thomas, Owen (December 20, 2020). "Salesforce's Marc Benioff is betting $28 billion on Bret Taylor. So who is he?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  3. ^ Levy, Ari (September 22, 2018). "How Bret Taylor, a former Facebook and Google engineer, earned Marc Benioff's trust to become one of the most important execs at Salesforce". CNBC. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  4. ^ "Take On Your Competition With These Lessons From Google Maps". Fast Company. January 22, 2016.
  5. ^ Gannes, Liz (February 8, 2015). "Ten Years of Google Maps, From Slashdot to Ground Truth". Vox.
  6. ^ "Two top Google engineers leave — to Benchmark Capital". VentureBeat. June 20, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  7. ^ Markoff, John (October 1, 2007). "Service Helps Friends Share Their Online Discoveries". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  8. ^ Vascellaro, Jessica E. (August 11, 2009). "Facebook Acquires Start-Up FriendFeed". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c Tilley, Aaron; Wells, Georgia (December 18, 2021). "At Twitter and Salesforce, Bret Taylor Steps Into the Limelight". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  10. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (June 2, 2010). "Facebook promotes Bret Taylor to CTO". CNET News. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  11. ^ a b Stewart, Paayal Zaveri, Ashley. "Bret Taylor is officially Salesforce's co-CEO with Marc Benioff, ending over a year of speculation. Over a dozen insiders explain his meteoric rise to the top". Business Insider. Retrieved March 24, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Twitter adds Bret Taylor, former CTO at Facebook, to its board". MarketWatch. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Melillo, Gianna (October 28, 2022). "Here are the executives that have exited Twitter". The Hill.
  14. ^ Conger, Kate (October 28, 2022). "How Twitter Will Change as a Private Company". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2022.
  15. ^ "Salesforce promotes Bret Taylor to president and COO". TechCrunch. December 13, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  16. ^ "Bret Taylor Faces His Biggest Test at Salesforce". The Information. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  17. ^ "Exclusive: Salesforce's Taylor emerges as CEO candidate - sources". Reuters. March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  18. ^ "Bret Taylor steps down as co-CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff stays on as CEO - sources". CNBC. November 30, 2022. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  19. ^ Duffy, Clare (November 30, 2022). "Salesforce Co-CEO Bret Taylor steps down, leaving Marc Benioff alone at the top". CNN.
  20. ^ Bobrowsky, Meghan (February 8, 2023). "Bret Taylor, Former Co-CEO of Salesforce, to Create AI Startup With Google Veteran". The Wall Street Journal.
  21. ^ Roof, Katie (January 26, 2024). "Ex-Salesforce Co-CEO to Win Funding for AI Startup at Near-$1 Billion Value, Sources Say". Bloomberg News.
  22. ^ a b "Who are OpenAI's new board members as Sam Altman returns?". Reuters. November 23, 2023.
  23. ^ Teo, Kai Xiang. "Larry Summers and Bret Taylor are joining OpenAI's board as Sam Altman returns". Business Insider. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  24. ^ @OpenAI (November 22, 2023). "We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Gehan, Ann (May 26, 2023). "Shopify Nominates Bret Taylor For Board Seat". The Information.
  26. ^ Thomas, By Owen. "5 more things you should know about Bret Taylor". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 25, 2024.

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