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Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com . He founded the company in March 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) solution that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is now regarded as the leader of what he has termed "The End of Software," the growing belief that on-demand applications can democratize CRM by delivering immediate benefits to companies of all sizes at reduced risks and costs. Under Benioff's direction, salesforce.com has grown from a ground-breaking idea into a publicly traded company that is the market and technology leader in on-demand business services.
Benioff, a 25-year software industry veteran, is internationally recognized as one of the preeminent thinkers in information technology. Recent awards and acknowledgements from leading business organizations include: "Silicon Valley Visionary," awarded from the Software Development Forum, the leading source of information and education to the technology community, which recognized Benioff for his contributions both in computing and the community; "Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year," from the University of Southern California's (USC) Marshall School of Business; "Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year," from Ernst & Young; and "Entrepreneur of the Year," from SunBridge, the leading incubator in Japan, which recognized Benioff for his work in catalyzing technology change. Benioff has been the recipient of many industry honors as well: Selling Power named Benioff "International CEO of the Year;" FORTUNE magazine called Benioff one of its "Top 10 Entrepreneurs to Watch;" BusinessWeek named him one of the 25 people responsible for turning e-business around; CRM magazine recognized him as one of the 20 most influential people in the industry; and Silicon.com named Benioff to its list of Agenda Setters.
Throughout his career, Benioff has been determined to use information technology to produce positive social change. In July 2000, with Colin Powell in attendance, Benioff launched the Salesforce Foundation, a multimillion dollar global philanthropic organization aimed at bridging the digital divide. Pioneering the "1 percent solution"where the company contributes 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it servesthe Salesforce Foundation has demonstrated the power and impact of integrated philanthropy.
Benioff coauthored Compassionate Capitalism, the first-ever best-practices guide for corporate philanthropy that illustrates the success of the integrated model. The book was launched in conjunction with the World Economic Forum's 2004 meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Previously, members of the World Economic Forum selected Benioff as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow," one of 100 leaders in business, politics, and the arts committed to addressing social issues. In addition, Benioff received the "Promise of Peace" award from the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu for his work using technology as a means to further Middle East peace, and the "Bridge Award" from the nonprofit organization HEAVEN (Helping Educate, Activate, Volunteer, and Empower via the Net) for providing internet access to the underserved in America's inner cities.
Prior to creating salesforce.com, Benioff spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of executive positions in sales, marketing, and product development. Before joining Oracle, Benioff worked at Apple Computer and founded Liberty Software. Benioff received a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Southern California in 1986.