Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield’s life and career rise, in photos

  • Stewart Butterfield founded Slack in 2013 after selling his first startup, Flickr, to Yahoo for more than $20 million.
  • Slack became one of the fastest-growing companies ever, achieving a $1 billion valuation less than a year after it officially launched.
  • Butterfield, whose birth name was Dharma before he changed it at age 12, was born in British Columbia and majored in philosophy in college. 
  • He’s currently engaged to a fellow tech founder: Jennifer Rubio, the cofounder of luggage startup Away.
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Stewart Butterfield is on a roll.

In the early 2000s, Butterfield created Flickr, which sold to Yahoo for over $20 million. Now, his latest venture, Slack, one of the fastest-growing business apps ever, has been acquired by Salesforce for $27.7 billion.

The workplace messaging app, born out of a now-defunct gaming startup Tiny Speck, will help Salesforce compete with its chief rival, Microsoft, during a time when office communication technology is more essential than ever.

Read More: Analysts say that the $27.7 billion that Salesforce is paying for Slack is steep, but worth it for the chance to more aggressively take on Microsoft

Here’s how Butterfield, 47, got his start and built a wildly successful, multibillion-dollar startup.  

This is an update to a story by Maya Kosoff first published in 2015.

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