Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, one of Britain’s most prominent businesswomen, is to step down from her executive role at the American software company Salesforce after just six months.
Sky News has learnt that Salesforce will announce on Friday morning that Dame Jayne-Anne is to become an adviser to the business, ending a brief stint as its UK chief executive.
A source said the former Virgin Money boss was likely to focus on her role as the founder of Snoop, a price comparison start-up which has received financial backing from Salesforce’s venture investing arm.
Her departure will come amid a wider executive shake-up at Salesforce, a producer of enterprise software.
The company, which has a market value of more than $138bn, said last month that co-chief executive Keith Block was stepping down, leaving Marc Benioff in sole charge.
It also said that Gavin Patterson, the former BT Group chief executive, would become president and CEO of its international operations.
The abrupt nature of Dame Jayne-Anne’s departure as an executive is a surprise, with her appointment having been trumpeted as a further sign – alongside a $2.5bn investment programme – of the company’s commitment to the UK.
“Jayne-Anne is one of the most respected CEOs in the UK and we are thrilled to welcome her to Salesforce,” Mr Benioff and Mr Block said last year.
“The UK and Ireland is our largest market outside the US and with Jayne-Anne’s leadership we are well positioned to move into the next stage of growth and success for Salesforce, our customers, partners and communities.”
Dame Jayne-Anne was honoured in January last year for her contribution to financial services and women in the finance industry.
Under her stewardship, the Treasury’s Women in Finance charter has now committed most of the biggest banks, insurers and asset managers to a series of pledges regarding the recruitment and treatment of female employees.
As chief executive of Virgin Money, she oversaw the acquisition of Northern Rock from the Government in 2011 and its subsequent integration and stock market flotation.
Snoop, which raised millions of pounds in start-up funding last year, is expected to launch publicly in the late spring.
Salesforce declined to comment, while Dame Jayne-Anne could not be reached on Thursday evening.