Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announces new chief equality officer

Salesforce has taken a leading role on LGBT issues and now it is taking that one step further. The company next week will be announcing its first chief equality officer, who will report directly to CEO Marc Benioff.

Benioff speaking on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco with editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino talked about his commitment to helping improve the world. While he has built charitable efforts and equality into his own company, and he admits there is a self-serving component to this, he believes that companies need to give back.

“We can just focus on our own results, our own tech, but you won’t get the joy that comes from giving, the real pleasure of helping people. You’re not only helping other people, you’re helping yourself,” Benioff says.

Benioff has put his money where is mouth is, giving millions to public schools and working to overturn anti-gay and trans laws in Indiana, Georgia and North Carolina.

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It’s widely known that when Benioff and co-founder Parker Harris launched the company, they built the 1/1/1 program into the organization to give back to the community. As they like to joke, there wasn’t anything to give at that point, but over the years as the company has grown and become tremendously successful, it has given over $128 million in grants and employees have volunteered more than 1.6 million hours in the community. Almost 30,000 non-profits are using the Salesforce technology, either at discounted rate or donated.

What’s more, Salesforce has used this program as a template to help other companies launch similar programs with 786 companies joining the pledge one percent movement, including many companies built on the Salesforce platform or launched by former employees of the company

He points out that each company has a set of values to guide the organization, and while profit and building great products is an integral part of that, he hopes companies can use the wealth they gain by making great products to help make the world a better place.

The Chief Equality Officer will build those values into the fabric of the organization, bringing a voice directly to the C suite.