On Monday morning, Salesforce Founder, Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff appeared on Good Morning America with host Robin Roberts to discuss his new book, Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, which debuted on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. In the book, Benioff delivers a vision for the need for a new kind of capitalism, one where businesses and executives value purpose alongside profit, embracing the idea that changing the world is everybody’s business.
Benioff said he hoped that entrepreneurs would appreciate the book, and encouraged an entrepreneur in the audience to commit to core values in building her company. “You have to build a great product…and you have to have great core values too—that ultimately will be your differentiator.”
Benioff also discussed the origin of Salesforce’s equal pay efforts, through which the company has actively leveled the pay of men and women at the company to ensure they are paid equally. "Two of my best female executives came in and said, ‘You believe in equality,’ he remembered. “Yes, I do,’" he said.
Benioff said they told him that he paid women less than men and he recalled thinking that wasn’t possible. But, he added, due to "unconscious bias," they were right. “We had bought 60 companies, and when we had bought those companies we not only bought their technology and their culture, we bought also bought all their pay scales," Benioff said. "So what we did is, we had to commit — we pay men and women equally. We pay equal pay for equal work."
“Companies, and the people who lead them, can no longer afford to separate business objectives from the social issues surrounding them,” Benioff writes in Trailblazer. “In the coming era of business for good, everyone who taps their alarm button in the morning and heads to work can play a role. This isn’t just a matter of what the C-suite does. It’s about what happens on the shop floor or in the rows of office cubicles. Just as CEOs can’t look away when social issues clash with their values, employees can’t pretend that whatever its leadership decides to do is above their pay grade. If leadership won’t act on a company’s values, employees at every level need to hold them accountable.”
Watch the full video from Good Morning America here.