San Francisco, here comes Disrupt. Our annual conference is once again at the historic San Francisco Design Concourse this September 7 through 12. The tech leaders of today will be onstage, and kicking off our slate this year we have enterprise heavy hitters, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Sequoia Capital general partner Doug Leone.
Business-focused software helped build Silicon Valley — that thing about making products people would actually pay for — and the boom times have returned as this sector has gone online and mobile to solve work problems.
Benioff’s Salesforce has brought sales and productivity tools to the web and is busy acquiring companies across the business management suite. It picked up email marketing company ExactTarget for $2.5 billion earlier this month, among many other purchases, for a total of more than $3.5 billion in the last couple years. At Disrupt SF 2012, Benioff proclaimed Facebook has the opportunity to be the next Google…. these days everyone is busy watching for his next move.
Jeff Weiner led LinkedIn to an incredibly successful IPO in 2011, proving to the markets that some tech companies are worth the money. With the stock up 50 percent already for the year, the beloved LinkedIn CEO (iPad minis for everyone!) will be returning to Disrupt SF this year to talk about maintaining the startup ambition while running a public company.
Sequoia’s Doug Leone, meanwhile, hit No. 4 on the Forbes Midas List this year, on the strength of IPOs from enterprise IT company ServiceNow and online T-shirt maker CafePress, as well as Cisco’s acquisition of Wi-Fi company Meraki. With a work background steeped in Silicon Valley and tech — Sun, HP and Prime Computing — and a long run across enterprise and consumer sectors, he’s seen industries come and go, and will be sharing what he thinks is next.
More speakers will be announced as the show nears.
Remember, Startup Battlefield applications are due now. Battlefield is the heart and soul of Disrupt and a fantastic launch platform for a startup. We know you can be the next Mint, Dropbox or Yammer but you have to apply first.
And for those of you who are already Mint, Dropbox and/or Yammer, you can sign on to sponsor the event by mailing email@example.com.
Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is now regarded as one of the pioneers of cloud computing and has been instrumental in driving businesses to transform by embracing social and mobile cloud technologies to connect with customers, partners and employees in new ways.
Under Benioff’s direction, salesforce.com has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly traded company that is the leader in enterprise cloud computing. For its revolutionary approach, salesforce.com has been recognized by Fortune as one of the Fastest Growing Companies and one of the Best Places to Work and was selected by Forbes as the World’s Most Innovative Company for two years in a row.
Benioff has been widely recognized for his visionary leadership and for pioneering innovation. In 2012 he was named a Businessperson of the Year by Fortune, one of the Best CEOs in the World by Barron’s, one of the Best CEOs in America by Forbes, and he also received an Innovation Award from The Economist. In 2010 he was awarded the David Packard Medal of Achievement and was named by Fortune one of the Top 50 People in Business as well as one of the Smartest People in Tech.
Throughout his career, Benioff has been committed to using information technology to produce positive social change. In 2000, he launched the Salesforce.com Foundation—now a multimillion-dollar global organization—which established the “1-1-1 model,” whereby the company contributes one percent of product, one percent of equity, and one percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves. Acknowledging his commitment to building partnerships between business and society to improve the state of the world, the members of the World Economic Forum named Benioff as one of its Young Global Leaders and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy presented Benioff with the coveted Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award.
Benioff is a member of the board of directors of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of Southern California and is on the board of directors at Cisco. Benioff is also the author of three books, including the national best seller Behind the Cloud.
Prior to launching salesforce.com, Benioff, a 30-year veteran of the software industry, spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation from 1986-1999. In 1984, he worked as an assembly language programmer in Apple’s Macintosh Division. He founded entertainment software company Liberty Software in 1979 when he was 15 years old. Benioff received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 1986.
Douglas Leone is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital focusing on mobile, internet, software and communication companies. Doug currently sits on the boards of Birst, CafePress, Hayneedle, Medallia, MedExpress, RingCentral, Service-Now and Zirmed.
Doug’s represented Sequoia in its investments in Aster Data, Aruba Networks, Meraki, Netezza, Rackspace, and Service Now. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 1988, he held sales and sales management positions at Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and Prime Computer.
Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn, where he started in December of 2008 as Interim President. He came to LinkedIn from positions as an Executive-in-Residence for leading Venture Capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.
Prior to joining Accel and Greylock, Weiner served in various leadership roles at Yahoo for over seven years, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Yahoo’s Network Division. In this position he led a team of over 3,000 employees, managing products reaching over 500 million consumers, and overseeing a P&L responsible for roughly $3 billion in annual revenue. During his tenure, Weiner helped drive the NetworkÊ¼s Open and Social strategy as well as expansion of the companyÊ¼s category-leading consumer web products, including Yahoo’s Front Doors, Communications and Community products, Search, and Media properties.
Prior to his Network role, Weiner was part of the Search leadership team that directed the acquisition and integration of Inktomi, AltaVista, and FAST as well as the development of Yahoo Search Technology. From 2001 to 2002, Weiner oversaw Corporate Development at Yahoo, where he was responsible for the development and modification of overall corporate and individual business unit strategy and M&A. Weiner is also actively involved in the non-profit sector, with specific focus on leveraging digital capabilities to broaden the reach and scale of high impact causes. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of DonorsChoose.org and Malaria No More.