Marc Russell Benioff (born September 25, 1964) is an American internet entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, a cloud computing company. As of February 2015, he owns approximately $3 billion worth of Salesforce shares, although the company has never reported a profit. Benioff started salesforce.com in March 1999 in a rented San Francisco apartment and defined its mission as The End of Software®. He is “credited with turning the software industry on its head” by using the Internet to “revamp the way software programs are designed and distributed.” He has long evangelized software as a service as the model that would replace traditional enterprise software. He is the creator of the term “platform as a service” and has extended salesforce.com’s reach by allowing customers to build their own applications on the company’s architecture, or in the salesforce.com “cloud.” He is the author of three books, including the national best seller Behind the Cloud. He currently serves on the board of Cisco Systems.
Benioff pioneered the 1/1/1 integrated philanthropic model, by which companies contribute 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves. Parts of this 1/1/1 model have been adopted by many other companies, including Google. In 2005, the members of the World Economic Forum named him as one of its Young Global Leaders. In 2007 the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy presented Benioff with the Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award and in 2008 invited him to become a director of the board.
In June 2010, Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Krilich announced a $100 million gift to UCSF Children’s Hospital with the goal of not only seeing the new hospital built but significantly advancing children’s health worldwide. In 2010, Benioff and his wife were named one of the Top 25 Most Effective Philanthropists by Barron’s.
In 2014, Marc Benioff donated another $100 million to UCSF and Oakland Children’s Hospital (both now called Benioff Children’s Hospitals). Benioff credits Mata Amritanandamayi with inspiring his philanthropic business models, stating “But the most pivotal meeting for me was with Mata Amritanandamayi, … It was she who introduced me to the idea, and possibility, of giving back to the world while pursing my career ambitions. I realized that I didn’t have to make a choice between doing business and doing good. I could align these two values and strive to succeed at both simultaneously.”