Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff Q&A at Dreamforce 2012, Video Production By Katerina Noskova, KC Leung & Lilia Taran
Marc Russell Benioff (born September 25, 1964) is Chairman & CEO of salesforce.com, a cloud computing company.
Benioff started salesforce.com in March 1999 in a rented San Francisco apartment and defined its mission as The End of Software®. He is “credited with turning the software industry on its head” by using the Internet to “revamp the way software programs are designed and distributed.” He has long evangelized software as a service as the model that would replace traditional enterprise software. He is the creator of the term “platform as a service” and has extended salesforce.com’s reach by allowing customers to build their own applications on the company’s architecture, or in the salesforce.com “cloud”. He is the author of three books, including the national best seller Behind the Cloud.
Prior to founding salesforce.com, Benioff was at Oracle Corporation for 13 years in a variety of executive positions in sales, marketing, and product development. At 23, he was named Oracle’s Rookie of the Year and three years later he was promoted to vice president, the company’s youngest person to hold that title. Before joining Oracle, Benioff worked as an assembly language programmer at the Macintosh Division of Apple Computer, where he was inspired by the company and its co-founder, Steve Jobs. While still in high school, he founded Liberty Software, which specialized in microcomputer games, creating and selling games for the Atari system among others.
Benioff received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 1986 where he was a member in the TKE social fraternity. He graduated from Burlingame High School in 1982.
Influence and honors
In 2010 Fortune named him one of the Smartest 50 People in Tech as well as one of the Top 50 People in Business.The San Francisco Business Times named Benioff 2009 Executive of the Year, “for defying the fierce economic downdraft–and taking the lead role in the creation of an industry.”
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.
Salesforce.com has received many accolades including a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation award. It has been lauded as one of BusinessWeek’s Top 100 Most Innovative Companies, named No. 7 on The Wired 40, and twice selected as a Top Ten Disrupter by Forbes. In addition, Forbes named salesforce.com one of America’s Best Companies.
Benioff pioneered the 1/1/1 Integrated Philanthropic model, by which companies contribute 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves. Parts of this 1/1/1 model have been adopted by many other companies, including Google.In 2005, the members of the World Economic Forum named him as one of its Young Global Leaders. In 2007 the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy presented Benioff with the Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award and in 2008 invited him to become a director of the board.
In June 2010 Lynne and Marc Benioff announced a $100 Million Gift to UCSF Children’s Hospital with the goal of not only seeing the new hospital built but significantly advancing children’s health worldwide. In 2010, Benioff and his wife were named one of the Top 25 Most Effective Philanthropists by Barron’s.