Skip to main content

Salesforce CEO finds higher meaning in charity

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, recently did an interview with Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky, and spoke about, among other things, his time at Oracle.

The two talked during the Launch Festival in San Francisco, and Benioff said how much of an effect philanthropy has had on his life, and how it’s very important for tech companies to give something back, Business Insider reports (opens in new tab).

It gives them a purpose and a higher meaning, he thinks.

During his time at Oracle (13 years, from 1986 to 1999), he said he felt ‘empty’ and that he wanted a ‘better energy’:

"We had this really great experience. But over and over and over again, I would just get this really empty feeling at Oracle. We'd have these great products, we'd close all these deals, our stock was rocketing, everybody's making money, but I was kinda like 'I think a company can be more than this.

"And I want a better kind of vibration in the company. I want a better energy. I want to have a feeling that when I walk into the company, I want everyone to go 'Wow, there's an unbelievable energy here. There's a great feeling here in this company.'"

He even convinced his boss, Larry Ellison, to form a charity foundation, but it still didn’t help, because he felt nobody was really into it.

"The thing that was interesting was, I was interested in it, I was excited about it, but nobody else was. I give Larry a lot of credit for saying 'here, here's the resource', but he didn't give me the culture."

Today, Salesforce employees get four paid hours a month to volunteer somewhere outside of work, and the company donates one per cent of its profits, and one per cent of equity to non-profit organisations.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.