Our Leaders

Marc Benioff - Salesforce

Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is regarded as the leader of what he has termed “The End of Software,” the now-proven belief that multitenant, cloud computing applications democratize information by delivering immediate benefits at reduced risks and costs.

Under Benioff’s direction, salesforce.com has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly traded company that is the leader in enterprise cloud computing. For its revolutionary approach, salesforce.com has received a Wall Street JournalTechnology Innovation Award, been lauded as one of BusinessWeek’s Top 100 Most Innovative Companies, named No. 7 on The Wired 40, and selected for the past two years as a Top Ten Disrupter by Forbes. The product has won the Software & Information Industry Association Codie Award for Best CRM for the past six years, and the Codie Award for Best On-Demand Platform in 2007, as well as multiple “Editor’s Choice” designations from PC Magazine.

Benioff has been widely recognized for pioneering innovation with honors such as theSan Francisco Business Times Executive of the Year, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the SDForum Visionary Award, and the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Additionally, he has been named No. 7 on the Top 100 Most Influential People in IT survey by eWEEK, one of the Top 10 Greatest IT Chief Executives by VNU, and among the top 10 most visionary CEOs in the technology industry by InternetNews.com.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush as the co-chairman of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and served from 2003-2005, overseeing the publishing of critical reports on health care information technology, cybersecurity, and computational sciences. Benioff is also the author of three books, most recently the national best seller Behind the Cloud.

Throughout his career, Benioff has been committed to using information technology to produce positive social change. In 2000, he launched the Salesforce.com Foundation—now a multimillion-dollar global organization—which established the “1-1-1 model,” whereby the company contributes one percent of profits, one percent of equity, and one percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves. Acknowledging his commitment to building partnerships between business and society to improve the state of the world, the members of the World Economic Forum named Benioff as one of its Young Global Leaders. In 2007 the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy presented Benioff with the coveted Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award and a year later welcomed Benioff to its distinguished board of directors. In 2008, for his thought and action leadership in corporate responsibility, CRO Magazinenamed Benioff CEO of the Year.

Prior to launching salesforce.com, Benioff, a 30-year veteran of the software industry, spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation from 1986-1999. In 1984, he worked as an assembly language programmer in Apple Computer’s Macintosh Division. He founded entertainment software company Liberty Software in 1979 when he was 15 years old. Benioff received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 1986.

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