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Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute Honors Marc Benioff with Legend in Leadership Award

SAN FRANCISCO — June 20, 2024 — Salesforce, the #1 AI CRM, announced that its Chair and CEO Marc Benioff received the Yale Legend in Leadership award at the Yale CEO Summit. The distinction recognizes his visionary leadership and profound commercial impact around the world.

The Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute presents the Yale Legend in Leadership Award to current and former CEOs who serve as living legends to inspire chief executives across industries, sectors, and nations.

During a virtual summit of 250 CEOs, Benioff was presented with the award by Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies; Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company; Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM; and Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile.

  • “Marc has a belief that business can be the greatest platform for change and that businesses exist to improve the state of the world. It’s not just a great idea. It’s a vision that he’s turned into reality. And he’s made a tangible, significant impact on the world that we live in … He’s helped us all move forward,” said Dell.
  • “From his revolutionary impact that Salesforce has had on the business landscape to the way he’s centered Salesforce’s core values on how they operate, to the way he’s given back to the community, he really has truly been exemplary in the fact that he leads with such a strong sense of purpose and integrity,” said Iger.
  • “His success is a testament to his beginner’s mind philosophy: approach challenges from a fresh perspective. He has been ahead of his time. He remains ahead of his time, and his success enabled powerful tools to become accessible and scalable for businesses of all sizes,” said Krishna.
  • “[You have an] incredible passion for making great products that change the way people work around the world. We’ve been customers for so long. You’ve built an incredible company, one of the world’s most valuable companies, by building great products. And when people see you do that, it’s just amazing, the spark of creativity and the leadership that you bring,” said Sievert.

During his acceptance remarks, Benioff said: I think it’s true that business is the greatest platform for change. We’re fortunate to have these businesses, not only to demonstrate building great technology and great products and moving our technology continuum forward, but to improve the state of the world.”

I think it’s true that business is the greatest platform for change. We’re fortunate to have these businesses, not only to demonstrate building great technology and great products and moving our technology continuum forward, but to improve the state of the world.

Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO of Salesforce

“Marc Benioff is a global business visionary, a trailblazing entrepreneur, and an icon of values-first leadership,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management. “He embodies the values, accomplishments and impact the Yale Legend in Leadership Award was designed to recognize.”

Benioff founded Salesforce 25 years ago. Fueled by the company’s core values of Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality, and Sustainability, Salesforce has pioneered trailblazing technologies and transformed hundreds of thousands of businesses into customer-first companies, as the world’s #1 AI CRM. Salesforce’s impact is rooted in Benioff’s belief that business is the greatest platform for change.

About Marc Benioff

Marc Benioff is Chair, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. Under Benioff’s leadership, Salesforce has become the third-largest enterprise software company and the largest enterprise applications company in the world. He also co-founded the Pledge 1% movement, committing 1% of Salesforce’s equity, product and employee time to the community since the company’s founding 25 years ago. Today, more than 20,000 companies have adopted the 1-1-1 model.

Benioff was named “Innovator of the Decade” by Forbes and is recognized as one of the World’s 25 Greatest Leaders by Fortune. He has also been named one of the 10 Best-Performing CEOs by Harvard Business Review, as the CNN Business CEO of 2020 and Chief Executive Magazine’s 2022 CEO of the Year. For his leadership on equality, Benioff has been honored by GLAAD, the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and Variety Magazine with its EmPOWerment Award. In 2020, he and his wife, Lynne, received a George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award for their civic engagement; the couple has donated more than $1 billion. He is the owner and co-chair of TIME.

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