USC Trustee and Marshall alumnus Marc Benioff '86, chairman, co-founder, and co-CEO of Salesforce, has been named 2022 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive Magazine. This honor is the latest of many for Benioff, who has been named Innovator of the Decade by Forbes, recognized as one of the Best-Performing CEOs by Harvard Business Review and honored by Fortune as one of the World’s 25 Greatest Leaders.
“Marc’s passion, vision and dynamism shine through in everything he does,” said Marshall Dean Geoff Garrett, who attended the CEO ceremony in New York City. “I was particularly proud of Marc’s frequent references in his acceptance speech to his time at USC – as he continues to inspire me, our university and the entire business world to do better through all he is doing at Salesforce and beyond.”
After graduating from Marshall, Benioff worked at Oracle for 13 years, rising to become the tech company’s youngest ever vice president, before founding Salesforce in 1999. Today Salesforce is a Fortune 150 company that is the world’s leading provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software and San Francisco’s largest private sector employer with some 65,000 employees.
Salesforce stands out as much for its engagement with the community and its commitment to building a better world as it does for the spectacular success of its products. “We do have a business that has purpose beyond just profit,” Benioff said. “And we recognize that the core values of our company are what creates value today.”
From the earliest days of Salesforce, Benioff insisted on embedding in the company’s DNA the so-called 1-1-1 initiative, dedicating one percent of the company’s equity, one percent of its product, and one percent of its employees’ time to the community. Today the company has made more than $500 million in grants to community-based organizations and other causes.
Watch last year’s Dean’s Dialogue with Marc Benioff here.