2016 Speakers

Marc Benioff

A pioneer of cloud computing, Marc founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create a new kind of enterprise software company with a new technology model based in the cloud, a new pay­-as­-you-­go business model and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model. Under his leadership, Salesforce has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a Fortune 500 company, the fastest ­growing top ten software company in the world and the largest CRM company.

Marc has been named one of the 50 World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune, Businessperson of the Year by Fortune readers, one of the Best CEOs in the World by Barron’s and received the Economist’s Innovation Award. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees.

Marc created the 1­1­1 model of philanthropy which leverages the resources of Salesforce to improve communities around the world, donating 1 percent of Salesforce’s product, 1 percent of its equity and 1 percent of employees’ time to help nonprofits achieve their missions. Today, more than 700 companies have adopted the 1­1­1 model through the Pledge 1% movement. Marc and his wife, Lynne, have focused their personal philanthropy on children’s health, including building UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as on public education, homelessness and other social issues.

Marc also led a group of CEOs and business leaders in opposing state legislation that discriminated against LGBTQ communities, and instituted a company­wide salary assessment at Salesforce to ensure men and women were being paid equally for comparable work.

Marc is a 35­-year veteran of the software industry. Prior to launching Salesforce, he spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation. He founded his first company, Liberty Software, which created video games, at the age of 15. He also worked as an assembly language programmer in Apple Computer’s Macintosh Division. Marc received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1986 and an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014 from the University of Southern California.