Marc Benioff – The Outspoken CEO Who Gives Big

Place of Birth


Marc Benioff

San Francisco, California.


Technology and entrepreneurship.

Early Career

Marc graduated from Burlingame High School (1982) and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of
Southern California (USC). His career and entrepreneurial bent started well before college: he developed an application called ‘How to Juggle’ while still in high school; he sold the app for $75. By the age of 15 he had founded his first company. Liberty Software, a game creation studio. The company had a number of games published including Crypt of the Undead and King Arthur’s Heir. His earning were sufficient to pay for college though Marc worked as an intern for the Macintosh division of Apple. He credits Steve Jobs as an inspiration.

After graduation, Benioff joined Oracle Corporation, gaining extensive experience in a sales, marketing, customer service and production. He remained at Oracle before founding Salesforce, rising to the position of Vice President by the age of 26.


Marc founded Salesforce in 1999. He is widely credited with changing the face of software and the company’s first mission statement was The End of Software. He pioneered changes in the way that software was distributed via the Internet. He was one of the first people to allow customers to develop their own, custom applications using Salesforce architecture and the Salesforce Cloud. Marc owns over $3 billion in Salesforce shares. Marc is also a bestselling author of Behind the Cloud.

Philanthropy and Sponsorship

Though Marc is well known as an entrepreneur and software genius, he is just as well known as a philanthropist. He is the developer of the ‘1-1-1 model’, or the Pledge 1% Movement. This method allow companies to contribute 1 % product value, 1% equity and 1% of employee hours to communities and programs around the world. Salesforce, and Marc has provided grant funding to date of over $115 million, given access to Salesforce technology to over 28,000 charitable and nonprofit organizations and donated over 1.3 million employee volunteer hours.

The Salesforce mission and philanthropic model has been eagerly accepted and implemented in over 700 companies worldwide.
Marc and Lynne Benioff are active pilanthropists in their personal capacity and have donated generously to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. In 2010, Marc and his wife Lynne announced that they would be donating $110 million to the UCSF Children’s Hospital. The donation was used to construct the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay, and is the first wing of the 289-bed hospital complex that focuses on treatment for children and women.

Perhaps one of Marc’s biggest contributions is his immediacy and outspokenness on issues like women’s rights, equal pay, and most recently LGBTQ rights. He is considered and inspiration by many around the world and a global advocate for equality.