placeholder ad

Salesforce’s Benioff & Bosworth

Salesforce’s Benioff & Bosworth

bi play circle fill

Customer Connection is the Heart of the Internet of Things
The CEO of Salesforce joins one of the company's top engineers (himself an industry legend) to discuss why serving customers well will increasingly involve a deep integration with the Internet of Things. As the world gets more connected, and all its parts communicate with one another, we need to rethink what software means in business, in society and for human values.

Kirkpatrick: I guess we should really just start by talking about why it is that Salesforce, which is a company that we thought of as a sales software company back in the day and has been becoming more and more of an enterprise software provider across the board as a service. Why is the Internet of Things becoming so central to your strategy?
Benioff: Well, that’s a great question, and I’ll tell you that we’re coming up on over sixteen and a half years of Salesforce that remains the very fastest growing software companies of all time. And more and more and more as we’ve evolved our product line from sales to service to marketing to community and analytics to apps—it kind of gets back to the same idea that it’s all about the customer. And from our perspective when we work with customers all over the world, it’s a customer evolution. This is the most exciting time in technology ever. This conference is a great example of that. Next year, Salesforce will be the fourth largest software company in the world. Only Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP will be larger—
Kirkpatrick: That’s pretty great. Congrats on that.
Benioff: Thank you—larger than Salesforce at that point. You know, I was just having a great experience, which is to kind of put this in frame which is that I was upstairs having breakfast with one of our customers who’s attending the conference and was on stage, Jeroen Tas of Philips who I’ve worked with for quite a few years. And I love Philips. I love the products. I’ve used all the products, and it’s a great company. It’s a company that we pattern our own innovation after at Salesforce. And they have a great product which is their Sonicare toothbrush. Have you ever used it?
Kirkpatrick: I have, actually.
Benioff: Yeah, it’s cool, isn’t it?  Vibrates, the whole thing. Well anyway, people who know me know that everywhere I go, I always have my electric toothbrush with me.
Kirkpatrick: Of course!
Benioff: So, yeah.
Kirkpatrick: At every conference stage.
Benioff: Right. And the funny thing is about this toothbrush, although this is a great product like you said, but I’ve bought dozens and dozens of these because like you I travel all over the world, and I’m always leaving this in the hotel bathroom. I don’t know why. And so I buy them at Costco, and I’m always like just putting as much as I can into my shopping cart because pretty soon it just goes away. But you want to know something amazing about Philips? Even though I love Philips, and I have used their products, I use the lighting products, the hue products, and this product, and the cooking pot, and all the things that they have—you know they don’t have my name in their customer data base. They just don’t. Because I’m really a Costco customer and there’s no connectivity between me and Philips, but the new version of this, Jeroen was telling me, is Bluetooth enabled and it’s on WiFi and all these things, and so of course now, what does that mean? You have to kind of sign in to the Philips network. He’s building this comprehensive service which all these IOT things hang off of, including this, including his lifeline service, including everything that Philips is doing that has everything in it. I know because we’re working with him in building that, because for Philips it’s a customer evolution. They’re going to know my name. They’re going to be able to message to me, they’re going to be able to talk to me right on the product. They’re going to be able to do things that today they don’t do. And that’s an amazing step for them. That’s a huge evolution for them as a company. They’ll be—have a much more intimate relationship with the customer than ever before. And the level of customer centricity will be higher. Well it doesn’t just have to be Philips. It could be—you take any company. You could take the automotive company, I know Ford is outside. You could look at the cars, you could look at financial services, you could look at media. In each and every case, what these IOT use cases start to indicate is that you better be ready to move, and I’ll tell you what you’re moving from. You’re moving from selling a product to selling an experience. This is a big shift.
Kirkpatrick: Which Jeroen talked about on stage yesterday.
Benioff: Yeah. This is a huge shift for every company. Companies are used to just selling products, now they have to be ready to sell an experience. And when you sell an experience, you have a different set of values around that. You have, number one, trust. You better have a platform of trust that you’re going to be able to hold that experience with. You’re going to have a level of attentiveness with the customer that the customer is going to expect. If there’s a customer service problem or there’s an issue, right away the customer is going to expect you to know that there was a problem. The customer is going to expect you to know that there’s a problem before you have the problem. That’s also an incredible thing about the Internet of Things because of that predictive analytics capability that’s going to be built-in across the board in all of those use cases.
Kirkpatrick: You know it’s interesting you said that, about the customer is going to expect it, because, Adam, you and I talked about that on the phone, about how it’s—we all are being told by the providers of so many of the products and services we have that the provider has more intelligence about us, and we create excessive expectations, and you were talking about your car. I think it’s worth telling that story because your wife’s assumption that they would be able to do so much more than they actually are.
Bosworth: I think when you asked why we’re in it it’s because periodically, not very frequently, the technology changes the psychology. It’s not about the psychology driving the technology, it’s the other way around. So for example, I’m old. When I was younger, people didn’t type because if you said they typed you went in the typing pool. And then along came word processors and spread sheets, and suddenly your expectation was you had to be productive, and it completely changed the psychology. And again with the web you assumed you could find anything anywhere, and if you couldn’t, the company was failing. And the example of my wife was she’s driving a car. The car is instrumented, and she knows it’s instrumented. It’s one of these cars where if you’re in a crash they’ll call you and say, “Are you okay?” and send a car, they can open the doors for your kid—
Kirkpatrick: Like OnStar.
Bosworth: Like OnStar but a different one. And the engine light comes on. She looks it up in the manual, it’s actually not one you normally see there, it says basically don’t drive this car. We have a five year old that needs to get to school and what her expectation was, because she knew the car was instrumented, was that fundamentally the app would light up, it would say, “Hey, we know your calendar, we know exactly what’s wrong with your car, we know what to do. Come here at this time, which looks like it’s free for you, and we’ll give you a loaner, and here’s how long it will take.” That was her expectation because once she knew the car was monitored, that was the experience she was expecting to participate in. In practice, she got on the phone, she was on hold, she got service, the service said, “Sorry, we have no idea what’s wrong with your car. We’re booked up solid for two weeks, so you can’t bring it in, but you need to bring it in, and don’t drive the car and don’t take your kid to school until then.” Which was not a really helpful solution, and she drove the car anyway, and after about a week and a half the light magically went off, and she decided—but her brand loyalty was destroyed in ten minutes because her expectation was, “I’m in a monitored world. I’m getting an experience. You stand behind this car 24/7 because you know at all times what’s going on with it. And if you don’t, if you can’t cash that check you’ve just written when you start instrumenting, and or if you can’t proactively reach out through the phone and say, ‘Okay, we know what’s going on, and we know what’s going on with your life, and we can merge these two to give you the kind of experience you want,’ you’re gone in 60 seconds.” And that’s effectively what’s happened here. So it’s a fascinating example of just a completely different level of expectations, which as you said it’s not a product now, it’s an experience. And if that experience isn’t there to take care of you—
Benioff: It’s a customer experience.
Bosworth: Yeah a customer experience. And that put us immediately in the game, because is that service, is that sales, is that loyalty? It doesn’t really matter, right? It’s what our customers need us to help them deliver to their customers, because if they don’t, their customers are my wife, and she’s thoroughly pissed off.
Benioff: And I don’t know what company is not going through this. And I think that this is one of the things that’s fueling Salesforce’s growth because at Salesforce, we’re a company which is only focused on one thing, which is customer. And there’s never been a company of our size and scale—we have almost 20,000 employees—there’s never been a company at our size and scale that’s just dedicated to that. We don’t do all that other stuff that so many other software companies do. Our job is just to make sure that you have a great relationship with your customer. And these are accelerators when we talk about the IOT world—for us, the Internet of Things is really the Internet of Customers. So your customers are connected to you in a whole new way. And a lot of companies know that because they are building apps for the phone, they’re running their business from their phone, they’re running their business from their wrist. That’s a huge shift as well. But they need to get ready to have a new type of relationship with that customer, and that’s—the IOT is that accelerator.
Kirkpatrick: One other thing that came up as we were prepping for this is this idea that there are a lot of IOT devices out there. Companies have been putting this capability into their ecosystem, and yet they haven’t really been maybe getting the value that one might assume that they’ve gotten signals. But talk about what it is that you think you can—what kind of value that they need to be getting and you’re trying to work on that they haven’t gotten up to now.
Bosworth: Well I’m going to give an example first. We have a big company, a customer that makes things for farmers. And they instrumented the heck out of these things. They spent millions, actually tens of millions of dollars gathering that data. And then they looked up, and they went, “Wow. Have we completely transformed the company? Do the customers love us? Have we changed that experience?” And the answer was no. It was really hard to see where the ROI was. And it’s because they hadn’t started by asking, “What could we do with this data?” Could we in fact help them plan the irrigation? Not that they’re experts in irrigation, but now they know how dry the soil is. Could we plan the fertilizer? Could we plan the rotation? Could we plan the insecticide? All the things that they might want to know they hadn’t thought about. They thought about, “How do we collect our data?” Sort of a field of dreams—build it and they will come. So then it was not actionable. They spent a lot of money. Big data’s hard. Big data is if you hire super smart geeks. And they hadn’t started with the customer experience, they had started with data. So we asked ourselves this very fundamental question, “How do we not only help you collect the data,”—but as you say many have already done this—“How do we make that data actionable?” What do we do so that all of that data—and we do really distinguish between two parts of the data. What we call the activity lake, which is everything you’re ever recording—
Kirkpatrick: Activity lake?
Bosworth: Activity lake. This huge lake of billions or even trillions in some cases of events that you’re gathering that are coming in from these sensors and from your phones and from actually you just clicking on your screen, on an app. And then what do you really need to know? How do you distill that down into the relevant information that becomes actionable? And we did two things. Fundamentally these were not radical things, they were just new. We basically made sure that every time you changed your understanding of a customer or a device for that matter even a brown door product or a dealer—any time you change that understanding from this data, we could trigger interaction. We could proactively and predictively trigger interaction. And then the second thing we did is we made sure our business users could actually script and control and drive those interactions. Because when I try and describe—Marc’s been at Salesforce forever because he started it, and he lives it, and he breathes it, and he assumes it. But I’ve been there, what, three years? And I was describing to a potential new hire yesterday how to think about it, and I said, “So think of an X/Y axis, and the Y is customer experience. We are very, very focused on being in that top part where it’s customer experience. But the X axis is empowering the business user. How do we let the business user have that agility to do what they need to do without having to go back to the geeks each and every time they want to change or learn or experiment or alter or refine their understanding of how to improve that experience? And every time a new technology comes out, we see this transition—and it’s funny, this is paradox—when it first comes out, think Windows, think Mac, think the iPhone. The only people who can do it are the geeks, and yet you know the least about it. When the web came out, none of really understood how to make an effective medium. When you know the least about it, you need the most experimentation. You need the most agility. You need the most stability for the business people to start playing and growing and experimenting and learning because you don’t know. You don’t know what’s going to work. We’re at the point with IOT right now. Every customer is coming to us and going, “We’re not doing two things. We’re doing 80.” This happened in a conversation with a customer yesterday. I said, “Why 80?” And he said, “Because we don’t really know. We don’t know which of these 80 are going to work and which are not.” And I said, “So what’s your mean time to build any of these things?” And it was actually measured in months, not hours. And really what we focused on was how do we take this data and make it actionable but give business users the ability in hours to script and alter and permute how they engage their customers so they can try a bunch of experiments and very quickly learn what’s working, what’s actually helping their customer experience, what’s engaging the customer, and frankly, what’s not, what they thought it was a good idea but wasn’t.
Kirkpatrick: You know one of the things we try to do at Techonomy is take the biggest possible view of the macro socioeconomic social implications. So Marc, take us out into a world where this kind of thing really works for companies at scale and governments and all of us. What kind of a world can we get to? How good could it be? What are the new problems we might encounter? When you really look at the big vision, what is it?
Benioff: Well I think the first word that I use when we talk about this—and if you don’t have this, you’re not going to get it—which is trust. You’re only going to get that trust through transparency.
Kirkpatrick: In everything, in effect.
Benioff: In everything. So when we talk about the IOT world or this kind of world of Internet of Customers, when you look at how it could transform a government, how it could transform society, the environment, or in visual corporations, the number one thing is you’re going to have this relationship with the customer, individual users, even your employees, your partners, your suppliers. You’re going to have to have total transparency. You’re going to have to be able to open the kimono and you’re going to have to see everything because you’re going to have all this data, and everyone is going to be able to participate in that ecosystem—
Kirkpatrick: People are going to know you have the data, so they’re going to want to know what the data says.
Benioff: Absolutely—
Kirkpatrick: So it’s sort of like privacy data only about everything in a way. We’re already sort of feeling that. We want to know what the companies know about us.
Benioff: I think that’s a great way to look at it, absolutely. And then I think that, to kind of what Adam’s point is, is I’m always looking at number one trust, and then I’m always looking for our customers, so number two is growth. So when we want to see them not just hook everything up and build a product and connect a product. This isn’t about connectivity. Internet of Things is not about connectivity. That’s easy. Here’s the switch, here’s the hub, here’s the router, here’s the protocol, here’s the network. That in itself isn’t going to do. Have you transformed your business? Have you transformed who you are and are you able to then have that impact that’s so important to you?
Kirkpatrick: When you look at something like IBM buying most of the Weather Company, which includes all these sensors on airplanes and this—when I think of the IOT, one of the things that excites me about it is that you look at the biggest problems we have, like climate change, right? And IBM clearly is not just thinking about predicting the weather but applying this Watson kind of mindset to a much bigger data set that they may control, maybe they’ll have to be transparent about it, but was that transaction something that you considered sort of a validation of the significance of the IOT transformation? Because it seemed to me—
Benioff: I think it’s more of a validation on how lost IBM is right now.
Kirkpatrick: Okay.
Benioff: I think that you can see in the financial performance of the company they’re struggling. They’re struggling. They’ve talked about how the world is moving to the cloud and social and mobile wealth—we’ve been talking about that for a decade, and now the world is moving to—
Kirkpatrick: I noticed you have a rhinestone cloud on your shoes.
Benioff: I do. I have a cloud on my shoes.
Kirkpatrick: You have it on both sides.
Benioff: Yes that’s actually the key to success and growth to have a cloud on your shoes.
Kirkpatrick: He’s got a rhinestone cloud on his sneakers there. You have leather sneakers sort of like I do actually.
Benioff: Well I mean it’s kind of an interesting thing, like, do I really need to talk about cloud computing at this conference? Is that even going to be a question that’s going to come up?
Kirkpatrick: You just need to have it on your shoes.
Benioff: Are you even going to have to bring up that the world is more social, more collaborative, more social networks?
Kirkpatrick: No, we don’t talk about that anymore.
Benioff: Do we have to talk about six or seven billion mobile phones? No. We don’t have to talk about any of these things. We don’t have to talk about the technology. The technology is table stakes. We all have the technology. That’s what cloud computing gave us. That’s why we started this company 16 years ago. We all have the technology. You can choose the platform you want. You can choose Salesforce, you can choose Amazon, you can choose Google, you can choose Microsoft, you can combine things. The platform is there. That’s table stakes. Now, the next thing is, who are you going to be with the platform? Who are you—
Kirkpatrick: As a service provider or product provider.
Benioff: And experience. What experience are you going to provide? Because your customers know the platform exists, okay? We’ve evangelized that. We’ve made the shift from client server computing—like we could go back to our interviews 15 years ago—
Kirkpatrick: The end of software days?
Benioff: No, we could go back to our first conversation at the Hotel des Paris which was in August 1999, and we’re left talking about this, looking at the demonstration—that was a long time ago. You know? And now we assume the platform exists. Now let’s not talk about tech. Let’s talk about what we’re going to do, what kind of experience we’re going to create. And so that’s why there’s a lot of opportunities, but each customer has the opportunity to express themselves in an incredible new way. And that’s very, very exciting, I think. This is the greatest time in the history of our industry because you can do things faster and easier than ever before, but you better get organized around a few things, which is one, you better have trust. Be ready to grow. Three, you better be ready for the level of innovation that is expected from you. And the fourth thing is, and you can see that in our own actions, which is there’s a new level of societal values that is kind of coming out of these companies that your level and behavior as a company is going to change and so you better be ready to step up and act correctly because everybody’s watching.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, and by the way, thank you for what you’ve done with women and gay rights, just on that point.
Benioff: Just to that point, for us, that fourth core value is equality, and we believe strongly that if you’re going to do all these things, where are we going with all this? We’re hopefully creating equality for all, and so the kind of companies of the future and company CEOs of the future will be able to talk about not only all these incredible next gen things but that companies are able to create more equality. I think what we’re doing with women, what we do with gay rights, what we do in a lot of things, philanthropy is another area, it’s all organized around we’re trying to be a company that is a platform for change and the change that we want is equality.
Kirkpatrick: The idea that the mission of business ought to be more equality is a very powerful idea that I like a lot. Just a little while ago we had John Hagel on stage talking about what business can learn from social movements and talking about businesses increasingly have to create literally movements, not be in opposition to, the environmental movement but to take hold of that energy and if businesses could be perceived to be working for equality they would be able to do that.
Benioff: Well think about it like this, we have modern HRMS systems—human resource systems. We know what everybody gets paid. It doesn’t take that long to actually say, “Are men paid the same as women at Salesforce?” Okay? It’s like one query. We could write it in about a minute. So why hasn’t every CEO committed to making sure that women and men are paid the same?
Kirkpatrick: That’s very interesting.
And he did just adjust the pay of a lot of women at Salesforce and announced that last week or so. But tying it back to IOT, that is a form of signal right there, right?
Benioff: This is all related.  You cannot take these things apart.
Kirkpatrick: That’s the thing I wanted to get to. The problem with IOT is the T. It’s got to come out of some kind of light bulb or tail pipe, but you’re really thinking about it as something bigger than that. Could you just talk about that a little bit, both of you? You do consider that that kind of signal coming out of a database is in part the kind of thing you want to make actionable with this strategy that you’re adopting?
Bosworth: I think, you know when you and I talked about it before this conference, I said as far as we were concerned we could listen to anything. And it was a simple example, not only do we look at the signal as customers, we are the signal. When I was driving to San Francisco the other day, there was Fleet Week. And I came down, and Google maps knew perfectly well this was a really bad time to make a left turn across the Golden Gate Bridge and get on Doyle Drive. By the time I figured it out it was too late. And 45 minutes later I sort of was able to get onto the Presidio gasping for breath. And my instant reaction was, “Why didn’t the car tell me? Why didn’t the car tell me to go straight and bypass all this?” What we expect from the data now, regardless of what—and that data is people using Google maps—
Kirkpatrick: Google in a way can sometimes do that.
Bosworth: But it’s circular. They have the signal because you’re using the app. I think IBM bought the wrong thing. If you’re going to buy something buy the apps that have the customers because that’s the signal. Marc’s discussion is the signal. On the signal is how are they getting paid? And what should happen is the system shouldn’t require a query. The moment someone comes in and you make an offer, and that offer appears to be out of line, the system should take that in to the signal, and the signal should go, “Whoa. Something is wrong.” Just like you’re driving, “Do not make a left turn.” We have guidelines here and fundamentally this one has just come out of the guideline. Predictively let’s someone in HR know that something odd is going on with the hiring process. So when we looked at it, we didn’t look at it as IOT. We looked at it as IOT of everything. We looked at it—how do we listen to every event, every piece of data, every activity, every payment, every box ever scanned through a point of sale machine to see how much sugar is being ingested, and then how do we put that in the hands of our consumers.
Kirkpatrick: A great example of that is how you’re working with Microsoft. Could you just quickly describe that?
Bosworth: It was a good example because Microsoft has a lot of people that are trying to move to Office 365. And they do a lot of things on the app. And what they wanted to know was were they responding quickly and accurately to its experience thing so that the moment they could tell they were getting in trouble, they could help. From the moment they realized they had done something they needed to do, they could hint to them. They could start to watch and learn how to build a better more supportive more integrative experience. In order to do that they had to have two things. They had to have this big stream, a few billion events a day coming in to us, and then they—
Kirkpatrick: A few billion a day?
Bosworth: Yeah, that’s okay. We’re able to stand up about ten billion per customer a day right now, and we haven’t even scaled this. But the other thing is context. This was a thing we originally missed. And this is, what you are describing right now, that data, is context. What do we know about this person, what do we know about pay grades and what we’re paying per pay grade and what the industry pays? What do we know about a brand? I’m talking to a beer company. What do we know about the average temperature at which their beer is poured out of smart kegs? So that context turns out to be everything. It turns out when you’re trying to say if something is an opportunity or something is a problem. When you’re trying to go straight or go left. When you’re trying to say, “Give this raise or don’t give this raise,” it’s all about context. That was context right? The pay was unfair because it was unfair. It wasn’t that a hundred and whatever ten thousand dollars a year was intrinsically too low or too high, it was that for a certain job level, for a certain skill set it was too low or too high, and so fundamentally that’s really turned out to be the other key issue. It’s all context. So it’s always real time listening to context and then listening to every single activity and event like the hiring of someone or like a promotion or like a raise, or just periodically rechecking is this still fair and then saying what do we do.
Kirkpatrick: But it is a fundamental redefinition of what the Internet of Things means to think that a customer’s failure to properly open a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet in Office 365 is equivalently a signal as a fire alarm going off in your house. But we sort of need a different phrase for that, don’t we? You’re a master marketer, have you thought of it? You are probably one of the ultimate master marketers. Is there a better phrase or is IOT good enough for you?
Benioff: Well I don’t think IOT is a great phrase, but I think it’s a kind of a catch-all term that people kind of understand what this means, that you have all these things hanging off the internet. It could be apps, it could be devices, it could be that toothbrush that I was talking about, it could be your fire extinguisher, it could be a thermostat in your home, it could be all this. We see that. We have that whole breadth of customers who are doing all those things. But at the end of the day just connecting something is not key because don’t forget behind every tweet, every post, every device, every thermostat, every car, is a customer. And if you don’t have that customer delighted and having a great experience, then your company is not going to benefit and grow. And that’s where we try to pivot our customers back to their customers. By the way this is not necessarily easy if we’re dealing with the CIOs or the tech teams. They’re rolling in just wanting to talk about the bits and bytes. It’s really those line of business managers who are responsible for customer service or products or sales who really get it that this is about really having that incredible experience that’s going to transform the company.
Kirkpatrick: What you’re saying is Twitter could even be a customer for this service. If they wanted to sort of optimize, “How come your tweets aren’t getting retweeted enough?” You know, they could actually take that signal, put it in your system, and then serve that to their own analytic capability to then go back to their customers and try to offer them some additional help of some sort.
Benioff: And then coach them on, “Here, these are the kinds of tweets that actually engage better. So have you thought about doing it like this?” But getting that mindset—
Kirkpatrick: I’ve talked with Jack in your living room, so I’m sure you’ve discussed it.
Benioff: Getting that mindset is really about, “Are you pivoted to your customer?”
Kirkpatrick: So, could you just pull out that phone with the EKG on it? Do you have that in your pocket? And who has a question or a comment? I wanted Marc to show this thing—
Benioff: Do you need to check your EKG again?
Kirkpatrick: He had me check my EKG in the green room. Just show that. This is a more prosaic way of defining the Internet of Things, I admit. But it’s still interesting.
Benioff: This is a company that’s been around for a while. They—and this is actually a great example which is this is a company, AliveCor, you can buy this thing on Amazon, it’s like $50 dollars. You just stick it on the back of your phone, your phone automatically recognizes it, you don’t have to do any configuration, you put the app on your phone, and then you basically put your fingers here, and you can do your EKG. When the EKG is done, what it does is it sends it to this thing called the cloud, you’ll have to explain it to me later. And then the cloud basically compares it to all the other EKGs and it says, “Oh your EKG is normal or not normal.” Yours was not normal.
Kirkpatrick: So you say. He’s not a cardiologist.
Benioff: I’m not a cardiologist, I’m just saying what the computer said.
Kirkpatrick: Adam’s wasn’t either, by the way.
Benioff: No, but we’re going to get Elena to take you to the doctor and have a full physical after this. Here’s the interesting thing. When they originally shipped this product it did not do well because they just shipped it, and it basically just worked here, it wasn’t connected to the cloud, didn’t do that last step analysis, and they had to kind of find their way, and now what they actually sell it for is people who have arrhythmia. So people who have arrhythmia have like a normal prescription from your cardiologist. You will just get this thing, slap it on. David Agus is a good friend of mine, was over at my house last week, and he had this new version, and I had dismissed this product a year ago. And then David’s like, “Oh no you should try the new one. It’s really great.” And whatever and then you can go around and it’s a social conversation piece. “Hey have you checked your EKG? I have nothing else to talk to you about, so check this,” and then you can watch people’s expressions based on what the computer says about them.
Bosworth: And remind you to take your aspirin.
Mary Lou Jepson: Mary Lou Jepson of Facebook—about leveling the salaries of women, and as a woman that works in Silicon Valley for many years, can you or are you able to talk about the advancement rates for women from level to level compared to men or also underrepresented minorities and how that fits.
Benioff: Well we talked about transparency and I think that that was—you saw Fortune magazine publish their most diverse companies in the world yesterday. Salesforce ranked well, not as well as we want, but that idea that you should know how many women do we have, what is their level of promotion, are we focused on hiring more women? Are we focused on hiring more minorities? Do we want a more diverse work place? Are we trying to create a more diverse industry? We’re committed to all of those other things. We’re committed to equality. So we have to completely and totally express ourselves and we have to kind of have the integrity to kind of put that forward, and I think this is super important. And I know at your own company, Facebook, this has been a struggle with moving these issues forward. We are deeply committed to equality. We are deeply committed to making this happen. And this is something that has to be driven by the CEO. So the CEO has to be able to get on a stage and say, “Equality for all.” And then the CEO has to say, “Adjust those salaries.” Now, obviously when we adjust those salaries those have financial implications, and that is part of leadership, but I think it’s part of what we’re going through right now. You can’t get on stage and say, “Well I don’t know the data. I’m not really sure. I don’t know what we’re doing.”
Kirkpatrick: Nobody has that excuse anymore.
Benioff: Nobody—it’s crazy. Everybody knows the data. Everybody knows exactly what’s going on. So then you should be able to step—but I will tell you it’s uncomfortable as a CEO—
[Video Ends]


Adam Bosworth

Executive Vice President, IoT Cloud, Salesforce

Marc Benioff

Chairman and CEO, Salesforce

David Kirkpatrick

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy

Scroll to Top