Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman & Co-CEO, Salesforce


we're very pleased today to have Marc

Benioff who's the founder and chairman

and co-ceo now he was the CEO for a long

time now the co-ceo I never know how to

sit in these chairs by the way well

you're doing a pretty good job like this

or do I go like the Trump more like I

don't know whatever most should be

almost like this like that what am I

supposed to do well whatever makes you

feel most common you can change to

alright well I notice you're more

forward well I'm not as you know all

right young and I'm all right

okay just want to make sure I know I

don't want to disappoint you because I

know you're an expert at this I'm not

it's right how do I supposed to sit well

you're sitting pretty well all right

everybody think his posture is behind

there I think yeah all right thank you

and nice talking everybody that'll be it

for today okay so you recently with your

wife bought Time magazine yes Molly is

here Molly stand up our local

award-winning journalist covering

Washington DC amazing now that you own

Time magazine do you get to pick who's

the person of the year or two friends

call you up and telling you I can't do

it I know you want to be I get it

we shouldn't bring it up here well maybe

Navin you're very look I realize you are

a good candidate I get it but look

there's advertising and I'm not involved

in editorial you know go talk to Molly

alright you don't pick I can't look

you're a Perry I'm sure you're

worthwhile candidate well I get it yeah

so you got that book coming out I gotta

go it's also I'm gonna sell as many as

this book but well I don't know it looks

pretty good alright well maybe it'll be

on the cover of Time show you never know


though no so what about tamale now why

did you buy time by the way that's a

very good question you know we actually

are looking for ways to have impact and

really to add more trust and impact in

the world and one of the things that

I've always loved about Time magazine

really there's four things you know one

is that it's it's always been about

trust it is an incredibly impactful

business the the stories that not only

Molly but also her peers are writing

have dramatic impact in the world for

the good it's a fantastic magazine and

it's also all about equality in fact

that idea that it's about trust impact

it's a magazine about equality but

that's why we call it time T IME that's

where you got it from yeah Wow okay I

can do the same for say that didn't go

over very well actually it's a tough

crowd Washington DC that was actually my

better material all right well let me

ask you about for those

people who are not that familiar with it

there may be a few you've started the

company in 1999 yes and today it has a

market value of about a hundred and

thirty billion dollars yes if you had

bought the stock at the beginning you'd

be up about seven thousand percent

thirty five hundred percent but who's

counting your but you're more on those

kind of things than I am

well thirty five a much better investor

well I don't know about that but okay so

yeah pretty 3500 M yeah we have had a

very good shareholder return and we've

had a very good shareholder return that

when we since we went public in you know

two thousand four thirty five hundred

percent but the thing is we've also had

what we call a very good stakeholder

return so you know we've also been able

to give away three hundred million

dollars we've done four million hours of

volunteerism we have run 40 thousand

nonprofits for NGO on our service for


we're a NetZero company fully renewable

by 2025 so that's very important like

whenever I'm thinking about what is our

return for our shareholders which have

been very good right we also have a very

good stakeholder turn fact it's one of

the reasons that I wrote this book


well let me ask you

for those who aren't knowledgeable about

what main business is

what does it actually do

well Salesforce is a business software

company and actually are there any

customers here who run their business on

Salesforce raise your hand all right

well one of the people who really raised

their hand is in the front row here is

Arne sørensen

and he is a tremendous executive and he

is the CEO of a company called Marriott

anybody heard of Marriott right okay a

couple ago an amazing company Marriott

and you know he has a fantastic

opportunity which is he has a lot of

customers they are amazing and the whole

question there is how can he come and

bring and connect with his customers in

a whole new way how do we can bring

companies and customers together so you

know my vision or my dream for Marriott

if there was a dream is that you know

when I go into my Marriott hotel room

like I did last night and I opened the

door that I say oh hi Marriott please

set my temperature to actually a little

warmer like it's usually at 68 set it to

75 and can you call and order me of some

french onion soup and also can you put

the TV on my favorite station and boom

boom boom it happens and typically what

happens when I get into a hotel room is

you know I have to adjust the thermostat

and I never know exactly why I've ever

had that experience every day I don't

know exactly the TVs to every remote is

different you know I got to look through

the menu got to find the menu it's in a

drawer I don't know where the drawer and

that but they know me really well

because I'm traveling all over the world

with Marriott I know them so well they

knew when I landed they have my travel

itinerary so I want to get a text on my

phone Oh Marriott thank you oh do I want

my sandwich waiting in my room yes oh

this is my digital key fantastic so I

get to the hotel I have my key I

unlocked the door I get in there they

know me on my way out I get an email

from them hope everything was okay

here's the survey maybe I get an email

from them a week later it says hope you

had a good time by the way have you

checked out our new place you know in

this fabulous location and off I go and

what he's do

connecting with me in a new way having a

great relationship with me having a

one-on-one it's the new loyalty you know

they're the one of the biggest loyalty

points and when we grew up it was all

about loyalty points right it's not

about loyalty points anymore customer

relations is all about having a

one-on-one relationship another example

is like adidas if you go to adidas comm

and you buy some Adidas shoes you know

some easy easy is from you know Kanye

West and you like the like the shoe

and then you get an email from adidas

and the new but the shoe comes and

there's something wrong with it you have

to call customer service and send it

back and all of those things the sales

the service the marketing the email the

commerce is all a hundred percent sales

force on adidas so whether you're on

Marriott or you're on adidas or you know

even some great government agencies that

we have here like the Veterans

Administration it's really you know

about connecting with our customers in a

new way so for a non-technical person

which everybody would agree I am was

that a to technical them no but actually

for a non-technical person who might be

here as I understand it your company

really did two things in terms of it

okay good

what was what you've discussed yeah CRM

customer relations management and your

point was that the most important thing

in business is to make sure your

customers okay is that right I think

that's generally a good idea yeah and

second was your novelty as I understand

it was that you said let's do this

through the cloud yes and when you

started the company in 1999 people

thought clouds were white things in the

sky and you've kind of told people it's

there's more to that is that right well

you're a hundred percent right there's

really three things we said we were

gonna do when we started our business

one was oh you're right focus on the

customer and say that every customer is

going to go through a digital

transformation and these digital

transformations are gonna start and end

with the customer and they're all gonna

build these customer 360s so number one

what we're gonna do is we're gonna build

this cloud - we're gonna have a

subscription model so you're gonna

subscribe not buy a license so you know

we're gonna have a deeper relationship

with you and that became a recurring

a new stream and that was a whole

different type of business model for

software and three we said you know

we're gonna put 1% of our equity 1% of

our profit 1% of all of our employees

time into this 501 C 3 charity it was

very easy because we had no equity we

had no profit we had no time with nobody

but it turned in now we have 45,000

employees 130 billion market cap so

we've been able to have that stakeholder

impact and so yeah we've you know that

that's why Salesforce is maybe a little

different in that right from the

beginning who said we want to do these

three things this is really important to

us well you also from the beginning as I

understand it from reading this book

which I highly recommend Trailblazer I'm

thinking us reading it they all have one

so it's ready to go well okay and you're

gonna autograph one for everybody I will

not leave between everyone who's

autograph okay so as long as I get it

all done within 30 seconds of finishing

this speech the premise was that you

wanted to build a company that was

actually one that employees felt they

were having a culture that they were to

be proud of is that essentially right

well you know really how it all started

was you know I was working in another

software company for a decade from 80

this is Oracle Oracle from 1980s

starting in 1986 and in 1996 I walked

into my boss's office Larry Ellison

everybody knows who he is he's been a

tremendous mentor to me and I said to

him I really don't feel good I haven't

having trouble getting up in the morning

I just am NOT enjoying my job I don't

really know what's going on and he goes

you know what you need to do you need to

take a sabbatical I didn't really know

what sabbatical meant you know I thought

it's some French word or something but

he wanted me to take some time off so I

did I went to Hawaii you know near where

Steve Case lives went to Mau my bay

rented a house and kind of started to

deal with myself and then I came back

and he's like you still don't seem

exactly right this was after 90 days

take another three months office I said

fine so I went to India

right so went to India kept the stock

vesting everything's fine I went to

India and I was touring India with a

friend of mine who had just quit working

for a George Soros and was gonna start

his own venture capital company called

tellus off partners name is Arjun Gupta

and were touring we're going to every

city in India New Delhi and Bombay and

Bangalore and put the partay and we end

up in Trivandrum which is the Kerala

region you've ever been to Kerala not

there okay well if you like a good

masala dosa this is the where you go and

we're in the Kerala region right in the

backwaters of the Arabian Sea and all of

a sudden we're invited into this ashram

which is like a you know it's both free

you know it's like a synagogue anyway

okay so just help bring you along on it

and the story helping you come along

with me on it but anyway that's where

they lost tribal words right no I know

I'm helping you okay and so we're in the

ashram and you know it's getting a

little deeper in there the back room

there's incense wave in a way we're

talking to the Guru now in this part of

India all the Guru's are women and this

woman is now lecturing us on

spirituality and so forth and all of a

sudden Arjun takes out his business plan

oh well let me tell you about what I'm

gonna do tell us off Partners and he

starts giving her and she's like really

interested Wireless is coming and we're

gonna connect the world and mobile

devices are coming and this is you know

we're there this is 19

this is 1996 so then she is listening

really clearly and I'm like I think

she's going to invest

okay and then all of a sudden she says

this is a really powerful thing which is

she's saying it to him but she's looking

right at me in my eyes and she goes in

your quest to change the world don't

forget to do something for other people

and at that point my life kind of went

like from this to this and what happened

was I realized that

when I was at Oracle I was working on

the software and writing the software

and marketing the software and doing all

of these things during the day but I was

working in schools I was doing

philanthropy I was giving back and I had

this desire to give back but I felt I

was kind of to people business person

mark over here and spiritual you know

philanthropist mark over here and all of

a sudden I'm like you know what why is

that I want to be one person I am gonna

be the same mark everywhere I am and I

want to be totally integrated and that

was a moment in time when I said wow

when I start a company I'm gonna make

sure that philanthropy and giving and

generosity and these values are in the

culture of the company from day one and

that was very powerful moment so then I

went back to work and I am feeling

better i kN dedup coming here very near

here to Philadelphia there was something

called the president at Summit for

America's future that ray chambers had

put on with : powell and the five living

presidents having lectures on how

businesses can be the greatest platform

for change and : powell got up on stage

and he said and he's been a huge mentor

of mine and he looked right out in the

audience at I mean he didn't know who I

was and I was you know this is 1997 so I

am 33 years old and it was as if he was

looking right in my eyes and he said

CEOs of America and your quest to you

know make money don't forget to help

other people and he also talked about

the importance of working on the Boys

and Girls Clubs and safe places and only

and I was like wow I'm kind of hearing

the same message and I actually kept

hearing the same message and it felt

like we had created businesses that were

too much Milton Friedman ISM over here

the business of business of business is

businesses business that it's just about

money it's just about Sheryl to return

and then over here we weren't really

measuring and managing and looking at

our stakeholder return and that's where

I was said I'm like wow I guess we could

maybe do something and when I went to

business school which was from 1982 to

1986 at the USC Marshall School

there were no classes on that we took

very basic classes at county marketing

and organizational behavior so I'm like

whoa this could be something that would

make me really motivated to be in

business and then when I started the

company which was March 8th of 1999 I

rented the apartment next door to me in

San Francisco hired a few people moved

in and I said all them at that moment

we're gonna do these three things and

one of them was to make sure that we

made a business that we felt great at

being there every single day okay that's

pretty impressive

so did you think when you started do

whatever David did you ever think when

you started it that it would it would

get anywhere I mean you you were

starting in an apartment you didn't have

did you have a lot of capital where'd

you get your capital I thought we'd go

right to 130 billion the market cap no I

you don't really know what is gonna

happen and we have a lot of amazing

executives and entrepreneurs in this

room I mean some that I'm looking at

right here you don't really know what

it's gonna happen I mean I remember the

day very well I wrote down a bunch of

notes that you know one of my

co-founders capped and we had a vision

for the end of software we had a vision

for CRM that I kind of articulated we

had a vision for the one-one-one model

we wrote all of those things down it

certainly helps when you write things

down like I wrote down the following

things what do I really want what was my

outcome I wrote down what's really

important to me what are our values you

know and prioritize them and Trust was

our highest value you know it was trust

and customer success and innovation and

the quality and giving back that those

weren't gonna be our values and those

orders and then I looked at how am I

gonna operationalize those values so I

said how do I get trust and I wrote down

the three things to get trust I said now

how am I gonna get customer success and

I wrote down those three things how am I

gonna get innovation and I wrote down

those three things and how am I gonna

get equality and we wrote down those

things and then I was like what's gonna

prevent me from having this like what

are my big obstacles terrible things

that are gonna happen to us so I was

like well what's gonna prevent us from

having trust and there were nightmare

things what's gonna prevent us from

having customer success what's going to

prevent us from having you know

innovation and

and what's gonna prevent us from having

equality and then finally I did Deming

so if you remember Demyan and World War

two did basically measurements so it's

the same thing I said how will I know

that I have trust what are the

measurements how will I know that I have

customer success what are the

measurements how do I know I'm going to

have innovation equality and then I have

this model and I'm like okay well this

is now the model so let's go and then we

start to hire people into the model and

it just got going twenty one years ago

exactly like that

that's all we did your background was

you grew up in San Francisco is that

right I am a fourth generation San

Franciscan my mother has told me I'm

supposed to say fifth generation okay

but I am fourth generation as far as I

can figure out and your ancestors came

over from Ukraine they were part of my

family came from I'm not part of this I

would just want to say right now no

Ukrainian can I know where I am not know

all right seriously yes my great

grandfather came from Kiev okay in the

late 1800s and he had seven kids some he

brought with him some he had here in the

United States and then you probably know

like David Benioff who's Steven

Friedman's son who you know David

Friedman who wrote the Game of Thrones

he's you know one of the he's one of the

great grandchildren of Isaac Benioff and

Paul Benioff who invented quantum

computers and Hughes at Hugo Victor

Benioff we did the seismograph they're

all related back to to Isaac Benioff

okay so you went to high school you were

you an athlete where you're a star

student I was into computers what really

what happened was is my dad was a small

business man and his family had a

business in San Francisco clothing

stores and he had a major disagreement

and falling-out with his family and

ended up partnering with someone in the

South Bay and as part of that on

Saturdays he had a Buick station wagon

and he used to load the clothes

and we used to drive around the bay area

delivering clothes to all the different

stores and I'd have to do the repricing

remarket margaery marketing you know

take the clothes out take the thing off

move them around talk to all the

employees and I really did not like that

actually it was fun to be with my dad

but I'm like this is not for me probably

let him down he probably thought I'm

gonna take over his women's clothing

stores and all of a sudden I found

computers you know I was in RadioShack

in 1979 I found probably he was there

next to me doing the TRS a model one and

I went and talked to my grandmother and

she I said you know I really like to buy

one of these and she's like well how

much is it I'm like this was like $400

she's like I'll give you 200 if you can

make 200 so I got a job at currents

jewelry store across the street and

after school in high school I was

cleaning the jewelry cases I got fired I

did a terrible job but I did make the

$200 and I got the computer from her I

learned how to program and when I was

basically 15 years old I wrote my first

piece of software how to juggle and sold

it into a software company in Santa

Barbara called C load magazine and I was

in business and that's when I went whoa

I don't have to work in the drew

clothing stores this is amazing when I

was 16 my grandmother's the my birthday

present from my grandmother was she gave

me her 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4 door

and she repainted it and it was totally

great and what let me do is I used I

could drive to Morgan Hill do a software

company where I got a deal with them to

write software for them and I wrote a

bunch of software for them and then for

another software company called epics

and I'm by the time I got to college I

had written 10 software titles and I was

making maybe $1,500 a month which were

in high school it's really good so then

I'm like this is amazing and then

something crazy happened to me which is

I'm in college at USC

I'm writing my software whatever and the

Super Bowl comes on in 1984

enjoy the Super Bowl and there's this

crazy add that 1984 won't be like 1984

in this Apple and I had used apples but

I was never really that into the Apple

in fact a friend of mine I was kind of

running my Apple programming division I

did Atari and I'm like maybe I'm gonna

have to do this Macintosh so I bought

the Macintosh computer and set it up

just like they did as a software

developer actually ended up having to

you know make a big financial commitment

and it didn't work and I called them and

talked to the head of evangelism at

Apple's name was Guy Kawasaki is that

kind of turned into a famous person and

I said you know I'm 19 years old

I just put all my life savings into your

computer to write software and it

doesn't work so why don't you explain to

me why that is this was in May of 1984

at that point and he's like why don't

you come to work here this summer and

help us fix it because we're having some

problems and I was like what was that

and he's like we're gonna hire you as an

intern into Apple and I'm like okay

where are you well he's in Cupertino

like it's a 15-minute drive it's

actually right next to my father's store

so so I go there I show up for work

there's a motorcycle in the lobby there

is a pirate flag on the roof there are

people running around frenetically they

show me a cube there's a refrigerator

full of Iguala juices Steve Jobs is

running around I'm like this is really

cool and then I sit down and I'm like

whoa none of this actually works so I'm

like working on some things I go wow I

don't know how to get this to work you

know this is actually I'm now writing

and what we call 68000 assembly language

which is I'm not doing basic I'm doing

very deep machine language code on the

metal of the computer and it is not

working and I do not have a computer

science degree I am a business

guy I was have business come in Business

School self-taught in high school so I

go to this executive named Steve Capps

is very highly regarded and I'm saying

can't figure out how to make this work

he's like oh you just forgot this one

thing and I'm like well thank you and

then I went back to my cube and all of a

sudden I got my games running and my

example code and I ended up started

being able to teach others how to work

on this Macintosh and then what happened

was my phone rang and I said hello and I

said yes oh this is Henry singleton I'm

the chairman of Teledyne I said okay and

I've got your sample code okay I'm on

the board of Apple actually so you need

to pay attention to what I'm saying

all right I'm paying attention now you

need to help me get this running I'm

writing a chess program and I'm like

okay whatever and then he starts saying

well what are you doing there exactly

I'm like I'm an intern I don't really

know what I'm doing and I go to USC it's

like you go to USC I live in bel-air

come over and see me you know and so

then I went down there I got very

inspired and he really inspired me about

building a big business and that was

like a real awakening for me that here

was this kind of mogul Henry singleton

had built this you probably knew him or

met him I mean and I'm not trying to

classify you actually in any way but you

know he was amazing

and he like all of a sudden got a

Businessweek cover and it's like he was

on it and it was like a strategy linked

to cash flow is failing in whoa Henry

singleton and I'm like wow this is like

big he's like on the Forbes 400 list and

I'm like really learned a lot from him

and then I kind of got back up in

college again and then getting ready for

my internship for my senior year and I

decided I had to stay in LA cuz I had

missed some classes and I was doing some

work but I still worked at Apple and in

Los Angeles for a group called PC ma and

during that time Steve Jobs got fired

that was very traumatic for me I went

down to a sales conference in San Diego

and the CEO of Apple John Sculley

was on stage crying another guy who is a

huge leader there bill Campbell's very

famous in my industry got up on stage

was hugging that each other and I'm like

wow this is really powerful what's going

on and it started to influence how I

thought about business and then as I got

ready to leave USC I went to my manager

and said what do you think I should do

with my career and he said you shouldn't

stay here you should go to work for

Oracle it just went public and my friend

is running sales and you should go learn

how to sell and then I'm like are you

sure and he's like yeah and then I went

to back to college and I'm at USC and

I'm finishing up my entrepreneurship

program and one of my main teachers dick

Bhaskar came to up to me and said you

need to leave the software business

thing and I had written this business

plan on online networks and some things

like you know you know this was the time

when 1986 when you could see online

networks are really gonna happen it's

like no no you don't have it so you need

to go work on your skills but did you

meet Steve Jobs have any relationship

with him I did I met Steve Jobs and then

Steve Jobs ended up having a huge impact

on my life especially when I started

Salesforce it was a very very meaningful

and powerful relationship and I wouldn't

be the person I am and Salesforce would

not be the company it is without Steve

now when Salesforce was started you

started a system of having people

develop applications apps and you had

the name of the app store mm-hm and then

can you tell how that revolved well this

was a really weird situation so in 2001

Salesforce was like a 18 months old or

something and I got an invitation to

fund something called college track was

starting which was being put together by

Steve Jobs wife

Laurene Powell Jobs and it looked really

great helping kids get into college and

they were gonna have a movie night

featuring a Pixar movie and we could

sponsor it for some small amount of

money of Salesforce and I'm like well

this is gonna be great for us to have

this exposure and we're we're doing


things so said great and so we ended up

doing it and then there was a dinner

afterwards and I was like oh this is

gonna be some incredible huge dinner and

I go to the dinner and I'm at the

restaurant called Evia in in Palo Alto

and I walk in and you know it's just a

normal restaurant and then Steve walks

in Laraine walks in and then another

friend of mine actually walks in Dean

Ornish's I don't turn to medicine doctor

and then one other person walks in and

I'm like what's happening in there we're

having dinner you're joining us right

and I guess and I had my girlfriend at

the time was now my wife with me and I'm

like well I guess I am and Lorene had

forgotten to make a reservation and it

was packed so Steve's like I'm not

leaving until the table opens now I

won't go into the aspects of his

personality but just know we weren't

leaving so he is like you want to see

something cool I'm like well yeah so he

back pocket goes why I just introduced

this last week

it's the iPod and he had an iPod and I'm

like well that's pretty cool he said

yeah I got a thousand songs in my pocket

what do you think about that I'm like I

like it

it's like yeah you can't win his turn it

like this and all the laws you click

this did it like that it's really cool

and then I he I got said to him you know

it's kind of like a computer you could

probably build a little application

there and that screen could be color you

could probably even have movies and it

probably wouldn't be that hard and you

know it'd be really awesome and he goes

we'll never do that that's the dumbest

idea I've ever heard and that's kind of

an insight into his personality as he

never actually told you what he was

thinking in fact he would even kind of

kind of feign you off or kind of say no

that's not exactly but of course he was

thinking that way he's brilliant and so

he was at the beginning of the would be

the iPod and the iPhone so then at the

end we have this nice long dinner it

goes on for hours and and at the end

then he says well mark do you need some

help running Salesforce and I go well

maybe and he goes well if you really

need help you better come and see me in

my office and I will help you and that

was very scary because being around him

for me was scary it's like you know it's

like a guru type figure and I'm really

like even being able to say something

like what I said to him was like took

everything to say that so then I kind of

got my courage up and we went down there

and I took my coat two co-founders with

me and before we walked in the room I

said to them let me tell you what this

is gonna be like don't say anything do

not open your mouth do you understand me

yes what are we gonna do take notes

write down every single thing that he

says we're gonna meet somebody who's

truly pathetic

visionary and we're just gonna listen

that's the only thing to do in the

situation all right fine so then we walk

in and he's like well you know I'd

really like to see a demo of this demo

in Salesforce he goes well this is

and I'm like well it's the best I can do

is like because you're building an it

HTML and you shouldn't be doing that

he's building it this way and whatever

I'm like but we have to

like this because it's gonna run on the

Internet no you have to build it

natively and I'm like alright and then

it's like you know what mark there's

three things you better do and you

better do it right now and I'm like okay

what are they number one you better go

get the biggest customer you possibly

can get somebody like Avon I'm like Avon

yes so at the time the CEO of Avon was

on on his board she's an amazing CEO and

Avon was really on his mind so for him

that was the ultimate enterprise account

Avon it was too said now I want you to

really understand this you are gonna be

10 times larger in 24 months or it is

over for you do you understand what I'm

saying yes sir 10 times larger in 24

months and one last thing yes you need

to go build an application economy what

does that mean I don't know but you

better go figure it out and I said thank

you very much and we walked out of the

building and got in our car and drove

home and my co-founders mouths were open

we were all like we had had like a it

was like being in that ashram but it was

that type of experience because we had

been with the Guru and it I took the

notes all the notes back we all did and

I read them every day for maybe 18

months and I could not figure out that

last the first one first two are easy

though I could not figure it out then I

kind of had a dream where I saw that we

could have in our application a market

place where other developers could maybe

build on our platform and then insert

things in it and then we could you know

have a catalogue of things and I'm like

this is like an app store and I called

up our lawyer at the time and I

registered the trademark app store I got

bought App Store calm and we built it we

released it in 2005 three years before

even the iPhone really kind of

got going with everything in the store

and all and then what happened was is we

got a call Steve Jobs wants us to come

down for a major announcement on the

Apple Campus now all my employees know

this story and we didn't end up choosing

App Store app stores our name because

when we tested and in focus groups all

the customers said this is not an app

store you've built an app exchange so

you should call it an app exchange cuz

you're exchanging apps fine so we called

it app exchange so you go to app

exchange calm you'll see what we built

so then we are down there and we're in

this Big Apple auditorium and it's a big

production the videos are going and

Steve walks out and his jeans and the

black t-shirt and whole thing and he

says ladies and gentlemen I'm here to

announce my greatest invention of all

time app store and my employees who are

sitting around me you could hear them

have an audible gasp they were like they

it was like a moment and time stopped

and then we the production went on and

at the end the whole auditorium ended

and emptied out and Steve wasn't down at

this stage at the bottom and the whole

room was empty and Steve was down there

and I walked down and I said great to

see you and thanks for inviting me great

to see you did you like it yes I said

I'm gonna give you a gift as well what

gift can you give me I said I'm gonna

give you the trademark for app store and

the URL for no charge because thank you

for everything you've done for me and he

goes well it's not gonna be anything you

know the App Store is never really gonna

work out right it's not gonna be that

big and I'm like I know but just in case

you know you should have this worked out

and so and that was a very powerful

story like it was a close that gave me

closure on that thing where I really

realized like working with somebody like

a Steve Jobs that's very much the

process that don't a kind of a continual

epiphany recently you've been very

involved in

things other than running has done very very well

companies market cap is quite high as we

mentioned so forth but you've been a

leader in certain issues for example

when Indiana decided to change its laws

relating to Hill lesbians bisexuals gays

and so forth you lose all those LGBTQ

right yeah I know all right

and you did something about that what

did you do and why were you so concerned

about it okay what was it you know look

I'm in San Francisco okay

and what has happened is we actually

acquired a company in Indiana and we're

not just the largest employer in San

Francisco and largest tech company in

San Francisco but we're actually the

largest tech company in Indiana and

Indianapolis and if you go to

Indianapolis you'll see a gorgeous

Salesforce tower - call me ahead of time

unbelievable view and I love Indiana

Hoosiers you know it's a great place and

I know Mike Pence because I had already

been there is the governor of the state

and I know the mayor's I know everybody

there because we're doing economic

development we're you know rescaling

we're retraining we're growing a huge

company and in the end of this is very

important to us and my employees call me

and they go well we have a problem and I

said well what's the problem they're

like well there's this law that's about

to get signed by Mike Pence you know

Mike I said yes great guy and well it's

they're gonna discriminate against our

gay employees and everyone here is

having a freakout what are you gonna do

about it I'm like what am I gonna do

about it

I don't know what am I gonna do about it

and they said well you know you'd have

to do something about it and I'm like I

do yes you do and I'm kind of listen to

them and it just feels inside that

they're right so I'm like don't worry

Mike Pence's never gonna sign a law

discriminating against gays I met him

he's great well he did and I was reading

on the internet I was driving home on

280 I actually was late at night and

actually it I was driver and I'm on my

Twitter or whatever and all of a sudden

it says Mike Pence signs this law and I

had already sent him a couple letters

and talked to him and I was really

surprised and maybe a little upset and I

tweeted well this is gonna force us if

Indiana is gonna discriminate against

our LGBTQ employees then we are going to

disinvest in Indiana because how am I

going to bring my customers there and my

employees there and how am I gonna hire

and make a great tech company there if

they're discriminating against LGBTQ

employees and customers and everybody

else and that opened a door and by the

next day every other company like

Cummins and Eli Lilly in Indiana and

hundreds of other companies even

companies all over the world said we

agree with mark we're also gonna dis

invest and Mike Pence called me and said

well what are we gonna do and I'm like I

think we're gonna have to issue rolling

economic sanctions against the state of

Indiana and he's like well what does

that mean I'm like I don't know but I

think it's got to be bad and he's like

well what should we do I'm like why

don't we just resolve this you know we

know each other this is not that hard

and in fact I sent two of my employees

to his office and within within a couple

days it was worked out he changed the

law and it was all behind us all right

and by the way I think that's how it

should work anyway you know it's very

easy now you did a similar thing you get

a similar thing not long ago when in San

Francisco there was a tax that was

proposed to help pay for homelessness

which is a big problem in San Francisco

most CEOs in the tech world said this is

crazy we're against it you said you're

supporting it and you lobbied for it and

it actually passed why did you get so

involved well when I was in business

school it's very simple you know it's

like a Pavlovian reaction you probably

have it yourself if you're a CEO and you

hear the word tax you're supposed to say

no someone says do you want this tax you

say no do you want lower taxes yes how

much zero you know it's like zero zero

we want zero taxes and the lowest

possible well anyway where I live in


it's a bit of a nightmare right now

because our safety net is kind of fallen

out of the bottom as we have had massive

economic success kind of those who need

things like extremely low income housing

high levels of social services and and

and and the ability to stay alive

they're not getting the services that

they need

so when I walk to my office which we

have this gorgeous new tower in San

Francisco called Salesforce tower

building west of the masalas building

west of the Mississippi it's a

Blackwater a building which means that

not that kind of Blackwater it's a it

means the water is recycled you know

it's right environmentally friendly it's

a great build gorgeous come visit our

office is on the very top floor right I

don't have an office oh I don't have an

office anywhere I just had that question

yesterday that's so interesting what did

you do with the top floor somebody asked

me if I have an office in the new time

offices and I'm like I don't have an

office anywhere should I have an office

I just think that wherever I am is my

office right this is my office right but

you did something unusual with the top

floor that usually people don't do at

the top floor the top floor really we

said this is so gorgeous that we did

this also in Indianapolis this is so

gorgeous that everybody should have

access to this and we're gonna work here

during the day but at night nonprofits

and NGOs can use this for free

they all need amazing event space and

they never can get it especially in San

Francisco even Indianapolis and so we've

been able to to give back its scale and

millions and millions of dollars because

they just come and use our facilities

when we're not using them and that just

seems so easy so we call it the Ohana

floor Ohana is the Hawaiian word Steve

will tell you four family so they come

to the Ohana floor that means that it's

a community service we're giving back of


at during the day we need it for medians

and so forth but at night you know they

can have it in on the weekends and

during the now in the tech world you're

a little different than some tech SEOs

you're a little more outgoing I think

you oh we didn't finish our prophecy

story okay well I'm finished yeah so I'm

on my way to this gorgeous building

right and you know when I'm walking

there and I'm looking into the eyes and

hearts of all these homeless people I

feel really bad you know like very like

what are we going

do I'm not the mayor of the city or

anything but like what are we gonna do

to help these people so we've been

working for years to do homeless

services and private philanthropy and

some have been very successful we've

been able to move hundreds of families

off the streets especially mother led

families where we figured out a program


you know heading home where these

families basically get scholarships

where they get a place to live and they

get services to get back in society and

hundreds of families have moved off the

streets but we have 8,000 homeless

people on the streets in San Francisco

so I can see we need a lot more money

and so all of a sudden a group of people

who are the top homeless advocates and

most brilliant people in homelessness

including the University California San

Francisco and scientists medical doctors

come up with something called prop C and

that is to direct a certain amount of

money to the homeless but it is a tax on

business 1/2 of 1% of revenue but only

for the top 50 companies and the top

three you may have heard of Salesforce

Facebook and Google we can afford it so

all of a sudden I'm like you know what

this probably makes sense it's probably

about ten million dollars a year for us

but it's gonna be a negative factor on

our business if this gets worse so I

just said let's support it and when I

did that that was like hearsay that

people could not believe that a CEO

would support a tax and in fact some

CEOs of other tech companies got really

upset with me they very upset with me

and it became a kind of a nightmare for

me we're all of a sudden I've got on the

front page of the New York Times where

it's Benioff versus this CEO and so

forth and I'm like this is a very small

amount of money and we are making

billions like you mentioned a hundred

and thirty billion we can take a tiny

amount and help clean up our city this

is what we're doing in business we can

have a great shareholder return and we

can have a great stakeholder turn we can

do both we have a lot of economic power

we have a lot of resources in our

company and if we're constantly

maximising you know shareholder return

then we may actually impact our business

quite negatively because what happens if

the homeless situation goes awry what

happens if our public schools go awry

what happens if the environment goes

awry what happens if there's massive

discrimination against different classes

of people or even you know another key

stakeholder are female employees you

know they came to us and said you know

you pay female employees less than male

employees here at Salesforce I'm like

well that's not possible and then we did

the audit and it was true and then we

said you know what alright we'll pay men

and women the same for the same work

that men and women should be paid the

same for the same work and we have a

regular audit but all of these things

are female employees the homeless the

public schools the planet the LGBTQ

employees there are all our key

stakeholders so it all has to work

together it has to be a beautiful fabric

businesses you know you're like a

knitter you're knitting a beautiful

fabric and a beautiful quilt and if you

can bring it all together you can have a

fabulous shareholder return and a

fabulous stakeholder return now most

CEOs in the tech world are not probably

as outgoing as you are we think that's

fair to say or I'm not outgoing I am a

super computer nerd okay well recently

you said Facebook is cigarettes hmm what

do you mean by that well it is Facebook

is the new cigarettes it is bad for you

it is addictive they run they do

advertising that's not true

there is you know they should be

regulated very aggressively there's a

lot of bad stuff that has happened on

Facebook it's been a lot of stories have

been written about by the very people in

this room about their view what is

happening to the world you can also see

social media how it's impacting you know

mental health issues with especially

with teens you saw suicide rates or

think up 56% it's all linked back to

social media there is a lot of bad stuff

associated with that company have you

heard from Mark Zuckerberg

you're sure I've talked to him I've

talked to his management team and what I

say is Trust has to be your highest


if Trust is not your highest priority

and if you're not thinking about all

your stakeholders and you're only

focused on money then what kind of

business are you building you have to

actually articulate like when you do a

speech like he did yesterday he said

that the highest value of their company

is just free speech that's all they care

about people should be able to say

whatever they want well is that the

highest value or is it trust you know

it's a very subtle thing now they agree

for example that pornography should not

be on their site so they have built the

technology and it cleanses their site of

pornography they're very careful about

that they have AI it's advanced but if

there's other things that they allow and

where they could look for truth where

they could actually work to have great

integrity you know and make sure that

everything is accurate and clear they

don't do that and that I think you know

is a problem and that it needs to be

directly addressed so as a result by the

way the people who should directly

address it are all of us were we have to

all be mindful of where by the way Steve

Jobs is the one who always said this to

me be mindful and project the future

that you want we should all be mindful

now even these things about social media

we can see what's going on we should be

mindful and we should make sure that the

things that are in place you know that

it's it's kind of like Time magazine

Time magazine I'm held responsible for

the content on the site so hopefully

Molly is doing a great job in writing

true stories and everything you know and

then also that their publisher Facebook

as a publisher - they should be held to

the same standards as NBC CBS CNN MSNBC

The New York Times The Wall Street

Journal and every other media

organization we have of the plan no

different as a result of your success at

Salesforce and other things you've

obviously made a fair amount of money is

your goal in the future to make more

money to give it away - would you

consider running for office

I am would never be a politician I will

never run for office I wouldn't know how

to run for office I don't think I I

could not see how I could do that I like

to go to Hawaii like where Steve is

enjoy myself that doesn't really work

with that model you know I think that

business is the greatest platform for

change I think that what I'm doing

actually have more impact doing what I'm

doing with 45,000 employees and all my

partners and my Trailblazers all over

the world and inspiring them and other

CEOs you know like Arne and I are on the

Business Council and Business Roundtable

and say we can do it we can change the

world oh because by the way if you and I

don't change the world no one else is

going to you know we all have to repair

the world we have to improve the world

that you know we're on the board of the

world economic forum together we're

trustees of the World Economic Forum

you know our tagline is committed to

improving this day of the world isn't

that everyone's tagline that's why we're

here that's why we're on this planet is

to improve the state of the world we're

not here just to make money we're not

just here to manipulate other people or

to get our way we're here to prove the

world and to love each other and that

that's what it's all about well I would

say seem like a pretty happy person

though for all the things that burdens

you have you're pretty happy outgoing

person would you say I'm happy and so we

don't happy enough you know we don't

have enough time to go through

everything that's covered in this book

but I would highly recommend it because

it's very well done it goes through your

life and your philosophy of running the

company and I think you congratulate you

on your success and well thank you David

thank you for having me I really yeah

this is a great Thank You Puryear knives

of Washington DC