Salesforce recently named Vikram Rao, formerly EVP of Security Engineering, as its Chief Trust Officer. In this role, Rao partners with customers to navigate an escalating threat landscape, deploy security best practices, and empower organizations everywhere to leverage trust as a key enabler of innovation in a digital economy.
Why it’s important: Trust has real economic value, driving both consumer engagement and brand loyalty. As digital transformations reshape every industry, the definition of trust has also evolved — elevated from basic cyber hygiene to building trust with consumers at every digital touchpoint. Balancing security and privacy to enhance the customer experience is key to building lasting brand loyalty.
In Rao’s own words:
- “My mission is to push our customers beyond nailing the basics of cybersecurity and into a sharper, more sophisticated focus on digital trust. The modern consumer needs to know that organizations can be trusted with their digital fingerprint — that their data is stored, processed, and forgotten, if necessary, on their terms. Brands who don’t meet that bar will see their customers go to competitors who do.”
- “It will be one of my top priorities to work across our entire ecosystem — including customers and strategic partners — so that Salesforce can empower our customers to deliver that new level of digital trust and stay ahead of the curve.”
Zoom out: Under Rao’s leadership, the Salesforce security organization is also helping customers recognize security as an enabler of innovation. To better support customers with an ever-increasing need to accelerate innovation, Rao’s security organization is a close partner to product engineering teams.
“Trust is about our customers being able to depend on us in every way, from securing their data to relying on our products to do what they are supposed to do and when they need them to,” said Rao. “By building security into everything we do – not just as a layer on top — we can better foster secure innovation and continually raise the bar for our customers and the entire industry.”
The big picture: The critical nature of cybersecurity is a team sport that extends beyond Salesforce and its customers to the wider business community. Rao has worked closely with strategic partners like Google and Okta to build industry-wide guidance in the Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP). Going forward, he’ll also partner with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to drive collaboration between the public and private sectors, bolstering cyber resilience globally.
Explore further: Find more of Rao’s insights on cyber resilience and public-private partnerships here.