Former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, who left the CRM giant in November 2022, has resurfaced with a new venture named Sierra, a conversational AI company co-founded with former Google employee Clay Bavor.
The company positions itself as more than just a customer service bot, asserting that its software transcends typical FAQ page extensions by actively taking actions on behalf of the customer.
Sierra claims that its agents can go beyond answering questions and actually execute tasks within customer systems, such as upgrading subscriptions or managing complex logistics like furniture deliveries. The company emphasizes its ability to reason, problem-solve, and make decisions, aiming to address issues like hallucinations common in large language models that may fabricate answers when lacking accurate information.
Having previously worked with large enterprise customers at Salesforce, Taylor recognizes the significance of avoiding hallucination issues, especially for companies where brand reputation is paramount. Sierra aims to connect with various enterprise systems to perform tasks without human intervention, making ambitious claims that set it apart from other startups in the space, such as Forethought and Ada.
Sierra’s co-founders bring a wealth of experience, with Taylor’s seven-year tenure at Salesforce and Bavor’s extensive background at Google, where he led AR and VR initiatives. The startup has already attracted notable consumer brands like SiriusXM, Sonos, and WeightWatchers to its platform.
Taylor, in addition to his role at Sierra, serves as the Chairman of the Board at OpenAI, having previously been on the board at Twitter before being dismissed when Elon Musk restructured the company in October 2022. The convergence of industry expertise and a track record of success positions Sierra as a noteworthy player in the evolving landscape of conversational AI.