Tony Prophet, a longtime tech executive who’d previously worked at Microsoft and HP, has been named as Salesforce’s first Chief Equality Officer.
Before joining Salesforce, Prophet worked as Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Education Marketing. While at Microsoft the executive launched a number of initiatives, including Blacks at Microsoft and BlackLight, an organization for empowering black marketers. At HP, where he worked for eight-and-a-half years, Prophet led operations for HP’s Printing & Personal Systems business.
In a statement, Salesforce described Prophet as a “champion for human rights and social justice.” In addition to his work with Microsoft, Prophet helps with nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay area working on child healthcare, educational opportunities for low-income teens and HIV-positive women.
The relationship between Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Prophet dates back to Prophet’s work at HP. While at HP, Prophet worked on fundraising for UCSF’s children’s hospital (a project near and dear to Benioff’s heart), and met socially at a Christmas party at Ron Conway’s house the same year.
Prophet was even a featured speaker at Benioff’s Dreamforce conference in 2014.
Prophet listed his mother, Benioff, Ron Conway and Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen as personal icons, but professionally — especially at HP — Prophet said he was most proud of three social justice initiatives. The first was bringing a focus on the use of conflict minerals in HP products; the second, the working lives of employees in the supply chain of HP — involving cascading peer teaching; and finally, Prophet emphasized a big focus on the environment.
Salesforce has been at the forefront of making equality — not just diversity and inclusion — and the education and healthcare of our youth issues that every business needs to address.