The BCL-2 protein family members inhibit cellular apoptosis, and their overexpression represents a common survival adaption in cancer. Recently, a selective BCL-2 inhibitor ABT-199, venetoclax, has demonstrated remarkable activity in relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), both as a single agent and in combination with anti-CD20 immunotherapies, such as rituximab. In this article, we review the development and latest clinical data that have led to the expanded approval of venetoclax with rituximab in relapsed/refractory CLL/SLL. We also discuss ongoing and future clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of venetoclax in previously untreated patients and to investigate venetoclax combinations with inhibitors of B-cell receptor signaling pathway. These studies hope to offer an expanded list of chemotherapy-free regimens for patients with CLL/SLL.