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Stakeholder Capitalism

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff Calls for Businesses to Embrace Values-Driven Change in MSNBC Interview

“I believe that business is the greatest platform for change,” Salesforce co-CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff said in a televised MSNBC interview with journalist Kara Swisher Sunday evening. “The CEO today cannot just be isolated and think only about their shareholder or only about their product or only about their technology. Today, the CEO has to have a bigger vision for the world. And I believe very strongly that employees and all their stakeholders, customers, shareholders, they want the CEO to do that.”

Benioff was interviewed by Swisher, co-founder of technology news website Recode, for MSNBC’s “Revolution” series. Segmented video replays from the interview are available above and below.

Benioff discussed Trump and media attacks during the interview.

Benioff challenged business leaders to lead with their values. “Technology is in a crisis of trust and companies have to decide what their highest value is.,” he said. “Many technology companies were built on a product vision and have to switch to placing trust as their highest value. What is your highest value? At Salesforce, nothing is more important than trust.”

Benioff discussed the need for increased transparency and regulation in the technology industry, with a focus on rebuilding trust. He also expressed his continuing support for Prop C, the legislative measure recently voted in by San Franciscans, which calls for larger companies in the city to provide funding to address the distressed homeless population. “You are either for the homeless or you are for yourself,” he said, during a discussion of critics of Prop C.

Benioff told Swisher that he would never run for political office. When asked what he would do if he were president, he responded, “I’d radically invest in our public education system. I think that we have a tremendous need today to look at the three and a half million public school teachers who on average are making about $35,000 a year, and say, ‘We’re behind you. We support you. We love you. Thank you for everything you’re doing for our children, and we’re going to double your salary right now.’ Because I don’t know why our public school teachers are not the highest paid employees in our country.

Watch the video replays for more from the interview, and follow Recode’s coverage of the interview.


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