The business of business is improving the state of the world
Not every teenager is quite like Marc Benioff. While some of us were getting into trouble of the more classic sort, Benioff was creating apps and selling software. By 16, he had made enough money to pay for his college education.
Reach for the cloud
After college, Benioff quickly rose in the ranks at tech giant Oracle. While many see him purely as a business leader now, his core, after all, is as an inventor. He never stopped creating and developing software, so although he was successful at Oracle, he quit his job in 1999 in order to launch a new product called Salesforce.
It didn’t take long before the Customer Relationship Management software company was one of the largest companies in the world. It continues to grow today, and has over 30,000 employees. From Day One, Benioff saw the importance of keeping both innovation and equality at his company’s core. He came up with the 1–1–1 model of philanthropy, which leverages the resources of Salesforce to improve communities. The Pledge 1% movement was born.
The Pledge 1% movement is a company’s formal commitment to giving away its time, product, and financial resources to not-for-profit and volunteer organisations.
A native of San Francisco, Benioff’s passion to help the homeless population in the city is particularly evident, using Salesforce and his own pockets to give specifically towards the homelessness issue plaguing the city where Salesforce has its headquarters. “We’re a city in crisis. We’re a city in a homelessness crisis. We’re a city in a cleanliness crisis…and a crisis of affordability in housing. So how are we going to overcome all of these issues? This is going to take everybody working together,” he said.
Benioff is one of three winners of the Oslo Business for Peace Award in 2020. He proves that by working together, businesses can have a positive impact on the societies in which they operate.
“It is a great honor to be recognised by the Business for Peace Foundation, which recognises that businesses have profound responsibilities to all our stakeholders, including our communities and our planet,” said Marc Benioff, Chair & CEO, Salesforce. “As more companies embrace stakeholder capitalism and commit to meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, we see that business is the greatest platform for change.”
Read more about Benioff’s passion for redefining capitalism and the Award here.