CEO Marc Benioff Named USC Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year

Honor highlights's market leadership in on-demand CRM and innovations in corporate philanthropy

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - April 29, 2004 -, the global leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) services, today announced that chairman and CEO Marc Benioff has been named the 2004 Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business for his impact on the technology industry, including leading to its current position as market leader in on-demand CRM with over 9,500 customers and 140,000 subscribers worldwide. The award also acknowledges Benioff's advocacy of a new model of integrated corporate philanthropy, illustrated in his new book Compassionate Capitalism, in which corporations make doing good an integral part of doing well.

"Marc has pioneered what he has called 'the end of software' and in the process has delivered the most successful company in the on-demand market," said Randolph W. Westerfield, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business. "He is an equally passionate advocate for the ways in which businesses can be an asset to the communities in which they operate. We are pleased to honor him as an impressive business leader with much to offer our students and his peers."

"It is an honor to be recognized by my alma mater for the path has traveled to become an industry and philanthropic leader," said Benioff. "I'd like to share this recognition with everyone who has contributed to our success — employees, customers, partners and friends."

A 1986 graduate of USC, Benioff founded in March 1999 with a vision to create a Web-based software utility that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. He is now regarded as the leader of what he termed "The End Of Software," the growing idea that Web-based applications deliver immediate benefits at reduced risks and costs. He is also recognized as one of the preeminent thinkers in information technology. In May 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Benioff co-chairman of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), a bi-partisan organization of business leaders and academics that guides the Administration on developing and adopting vital information technology. Fortune Magazine called Benioff one of its Top 10 Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2003; BusinessWeek named him one of the 25 people responsible for turning e-business around; CRM Magazine recognized him as one of the 20 most influential people in the industry; and named Benioff to its list of Agenda Setters for 2003. Also this year, Ernst & Young honored Benioff as a Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year for his innovation in software-as-service.

Throughout his career, Benioff has been determined to use information technology to produce positive social change. In July 2000, with Colin Powell in attendance, Benioff launched the, a multi-million dollar global philanthropic organization aimed at bridging the digital divide. Pioneering the "1 percent solution" — where the company contributes one percent of profits, one percent of equity, and one percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves — the has demonstrated the power and impact of integrated philanthropy.

Most recently, Benioff co-authored Compassionate Capitalism, the first-ever best practices guide for corporate philanthropy that illustrates how companies can make doing good an integral part of doing well. The book debuted at the World Economic Forum's 2004 meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

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