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Photo Credit: The Economic Club of Washington, D.C./Joshua Roberts

Marc Benioff

Founder, Chairman & Co-CEO, Salesforce | October 18, 2019

Livestream: Watch Here

Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman & Co-CEO of Salesforce, joined Economic Club President David Rubenstein for a conversation over business as a platform for change and his inspiration for starting Salesforce. While describing the early days of Salesforce, Benioff recounted his relationship with Steve Jobs and how he was crucial to the company's success. "I wouldn't be the person that I am and Salesforce would not be the company that it is without Steve Jobs." Throughout the discussion, Benioff emphasized the values of trust, philanthropy, giving, and generosity that he concentrated on engraining in the culture of Salesforce from day one. To follow through on these values, he focused on stakeholders and not just shareholders. "All of these things, our female employees, the homeless, the public schools, the planet, the LGBTQ employees, are our key stakeholders... if you can bring it all together, you can have a fabulous shareholder return and a fabulous stakeholder return." As Benioff noted, since 2004, Salesforce has donated $300 million, contributed more than 400 million hours of volunteerism, provided their services free-of-charge to 40,000 non-profits, and will have transitioned the company to fully renewable energy by 2025. "If you're not thinking about all your stakeholders, and you're only thinking about money, then what kind of business are you building?"