Marc Russell Benioff (born September 25, 1964) is an American internet entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, an enterprise cloud computing company. In September 2018, Benioff acquired Time.
Marc Russell Benioff
September 25, 1964
|Education||University of Southern California (BS)|
|Known for||Founder, chairman and co-CEO, Salesforce|
Co-chair and owner, Time
Early life and educationEdit
Benioff was raised in a Jewish family in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from Burlingame High School in 1982. Benioff received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, in 1986.
Benioff is a second cousin of showrunner and television writer David Benioff, known for Game of Thrones. He is married to Lynne Benioff and has two children. The family lives in San Francisco, California.
While in high school, Benioff sold his first application, How to Juggle, for $75. In 1979, when he was 15, Benioff founded Liberty Software, creating and selling games such as Flapper and King Arthur's Heir for the Atari 8-bit. Royalties from these games helped Benioff pay for college.
While at USC, Benioff had an internship as a programmer at Apple. He joined Oracle Corporation in a customer-service role after graduating. Benioff worked at Oracle for 13 years in a variety of sales, marketing, and product development roles. At 23, he was named Oracle's Rookie of the Year. Three years later, he became the youngest person in the company's history to earn the title of vice president.
Benioff founded Salesforce in 1999 in a San Francisco apartment and defined its mission in a marketing statement as "The End of Software." This was a slogan he used frequently to preach about software on the Web, and used as a guerilla marketing tactic against the dominant CD-ROM CRM competitor Siebel at the time. Salesforce was the first company to offer software as a service, which allowed people and companies to rent software over the internet instead of installing the programs on machines. Benioff extended Salesforce's offerings in the early 2000s with the idea of a platform that allowed developers to create applications.
Benioff has co-written four books about business and technology. In 2004, he co-wrote Compassionate Capitalism: How Corporations Can Make Doing Good an Integral Part of Doing Well with Karen Southwick. In 2006, he co-wrote The Business of Changing the World: 20 Great Leaders on Strategic Corporate Philanthropy with Carlye Adler. In 2009, he co-wrote Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company and Revolutionized an Industry, also with Carlye Adler. In 2019, he again co-wrote Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, with Monica Langley.
Influence and honorsEdit
In 2003, President Bush appointed Benioff co-chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee. In 2009, Benioff was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and is a member of its Board of Trustees. In 2012, he was named one of the "Best CEOs in the World" by Barron's and received The Economist's Innovation Award. In 2014, Fortune readers voted him "Businessperson of the Year." In 2016, Fortune magazine named him one of the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders."
In October 2020, Marc and Lynne Benioff were founding partners of Prince William's Earthshot Prize, a program for finding solutions to environmental issues. In October 2021, Benioff pledged a $200 million donation to plant trees and fund ecologically-focused entrepreneurs. Salesforce also donated $100 million to the same causes.
In March 2015, Benioff announced Salesforce would cancel all employee programs and travel in the state of Indiana after the passing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that would allow companies and individuals to choose not to serve LGBT individuals based on religious beliefs. Benioff led an effort of business leaders fighting back against the legislation, leading to a revised version of the bill being signed into law that prohibited businesses from denying services to someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
In April 2015, Benioff announced that he would review salaries at Salesforce to ensure men and women were paid equally.
In February 2016, Benioff announced that Salesforce would reduce investments in Georgia and cancel a conference if HB 757, a bill that would allow businesses to decline services to same-sex couples, was passed. The governor vetoed the bill.
In an October 2018 interview with The Guardian, Benioff criticized other technology industry executives for "hoarding" their money and refusing to help unhoused people in the San Francisco Bay Area. In November, Benioff announced his support for San Francisco's Prop C measure that would increase taxes on large corporations to aid unhoused residents in the city.
- "The Enduring Hope of Jane Goodall". time.com. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "Marc Benioff". Forbes. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- "Time Magazine Is Bought by Marc Benioff, Salesforce Billionaire". September 16, 2018.
- Jerusalem Post: "Jews take 5 of top 6 spots in annual list of top US givers" By JACOB BERKMAN September 2, 2011
- Jewish Philanthropy: "Jewish Philanthropy 2.0" February 23, 2011
- Rogers, Matt Weinberger, Taylor Nicole. "The rise of Marc Benioff, the bombastic owner of Time Magazine who just became Salesforce's sole CEO, has an $8 billion fortune, and owns a 5-acre compound in Hawaii". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- San Francisco Gate: "Marc Benioff, CEO, makes philanthropy a priority" by Casey Newton July 24, 2011
- Lynley, Matt. "Frat Boys Are Taking Over The Tech World". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Bort, Julie (April 12, 2015). "How these famous Benioffs are related". Business Insider. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Duberman, David (January 1984). "ROM Fun: Survey of recent cartridge games". Antic. pp. 62–63.
- Bort, Julie. "The Fabulous Life Of Tech Billionaire Marc Benioff". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Benioff, Marc; Adler, Carlyle (2009). Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry. John Wiley & Sons. pp. xviii–xx. ISBN 978-0-470-53592-9.
- Sauer, Megan (February 22, 2022). "A teenage Marc Benioff cold-called an Apple executive — and got his dream internship". CNBC. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
- "The stratospheric rise of Marc Benioff and Salesforce". Fortune. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Salesforce Blog: "Marc Benioff: How to Turn a Simple Idea into a High-Growth Company" By Marc Benioff March 8, 2013
- "The Marketing Genius of Marc Benioff". ViralWeGrow. December 6, 2020. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- Field, Hayden. "Marc Benioff Reached Millionaire Status by Age 25 -- and 9 Other Things to Know About the Co-Founder of Salesforce". Entrepreneur. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "The story of why Marc Benioff gifted the AppStore.com domain to Steve Jobs". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "The goodness business: how woke capitalism turned virtue into profit". New Statesman. October 20, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Kim, Eugene. "Billionaire CEO Marc Benioff is writing a sequel to his best-selling memoir about Salesforce — and wants your help". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Feloni, Richard. "Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff explains why a Hindu guru and Colin Powell were critical mentors". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "World Economic Forum Announces New Batch Of Young Global Leaders (Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley, Kevin Rose And More)". TechCrunch. February 25, 2009.
- "C.E.O.s Were Our Heroes, at Least According to Them". The New York Times. January 13, 2022. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Barron's: "World's Best CEOs" By Andrew Bary March 26, 2012
- The Economist: "And the winners were..." By The Economist Staff December 1, 2012
- Fortune: "Vote: Businessperson of the Year - Championship Round" By Fortune Editors November 12, 2014
- Fortune: "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders" By Geoff Colvin March 25, 2016
- "Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: The big giver". CNET. July 26, 2014.
- "America's Top Givers of 2016". Forbes. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- "No. 10 (tied): Marc R. and Lynne Benioff". philanthropy.com. February 6, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy: "Young Tech Donors Take Leading Role in Philanthropy 50" By Alex Daniels and Maria Di Mento February 8, 2015
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy: "Bequests Put Conservative Billionaire Richard Scaife Atop List of America's 50 Biggest Donors" By Maria Di Mento and Drew Lindsay February 9, 2016
- Savchuk, Katia. "San Francisco's Giant of Generosity". Forbes. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "'Next 10 years are critical': Prince William backs £50m climate change project Earthshots". The National. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
- Dolan, Kerry A. "Salesforce Billionaire Marc Benioff Pledges $200 Million For Reforestation, Climate Entrepreneurs". Forbes. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "Marc and Lynne Benioff, Salesforce donate $300M to encourage climate action". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "UCSF Launches New Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative with $30M Gift". UCSF Launches New Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative with $30M Gift | UC San Francisco.
- indiana Business Journal: "Salesforce CEO: We're canceling travel to Indiana" By Jared Council March 26, 2015
- The Huffington Post: "The CEO Who Took On Indiana's Anti-LGBT Law — And Won" By Alexander C. Kaufman April 7, 2015
- The Huffington Post: "Salesforce CEO Takes Radical Step To Pay Men And Women Equally" By Emily Peck April 23, 2015
- Fortune: "Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Battles Georgia Over Gay Rights" By Jonathan Vanian February 26, 2016
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "BREAKING: Nathan Deal vetoes Georgia's 'religious liberty' bill" By Greg Bluestein April 9, 2016
- Levin, Sam (October 17, 2018). "Salesforce CEO: tech billionaires 'hoard their money' and won't help homeless" – via www.theguardian.com.
- Ghaffary, Shirin (November 14, 2018). "Marc Benioff says he had rabbis and imams supporting the Prop C homelessness tax — but not tech CEOs". Vox. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "Salesforce to help workers leave states over abortion laws". AP NEWS. September 11, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Novet, Jordan (September 11, 2021). "Salesforce offers to relocate employees and their families after Texas abortion law goes into effect". CNBC. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- Colin, Chris (December 11, 2019). "The Gospel of Wealth According to Marc Benioff". Wired.
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