On Wednesday, Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff spoke at the 2020 Milken Institute Global Conference. Benioff participated in a virtual fireside chat on the topic of stakeholder capitalism with Hiro Mizuno, Special Advisor to the Milken Institute and PRI Board Member of Tesla.
Benioff emphasized that trust is the glue that holds successful relationships between companies and their stakeholders together. “Everyone must ask themselves what their highest value is,” he said. “Nothing is more important than the trust we have with our employees, our customers, our partners with our industry and our local communities–all of our stakeholders. We operationalize the idea of trust. We want to have it, and we don’t want to lose it.”
He also noted that the highest value that companies have can vary. “For each of us it’s different,” he said. “It can be success. It can be profitability, or it could be growth, quality or market share. We realize that if our customers don’t trust us, they’re not going to continue to invest with us. And trust can also relate to employees. Employees aren’t going to stay with our company if they don’t trust us. You can actually put trust at the top of your corporate policies and operationalize it.”
Benioff and Mizuno also discussed the power of stakeholder capitalism, the importance of adopting a beginner’s mind to better serve society, and many other topics. A complete video replay of the Milken Institute event is available here.