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Salesforce’s Marc Benioff on Business as a Platform for Change and the Need for a New Kind of Capitalism

Salesforce Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff is profiled in a new Associated Press story, titled “Crusading tech mogul aims to prove CEOs can be activists too.” AP journalists Michael Liedtke and Barbara Ortutay write that “Benioff blames much of society’s current troubles on CEOs who have been asleep at the wheel.” The story delves into Benioff’s notion of business as a platform for change and his social activism, taking stances on homelessness, LGBTQ discrimination, privacy laws in the technology industry, and more.

“We are at a point where CEOs recognize that they just can’t be for their shareholders,” Benioff said. “They have to be for all their stakeholders, whether it’s for their schools, whether it’s for the environment, whether it’s for fundamental equality for every human being.”

Benioff also spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco on Thursday, in a discussion with TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino. They discussed leading with values, business as a platform for change, and the need to rethink the notion of capitalism.

“I really strongly believe that capitalism as we know it is dead…that we’re going to see a new kind of capitalism, and that new kind of capitalism that’s going to emerge is not the Milton Friedman capitalism that’s just about making money,” said Benioff. “And if your orientation is just about making money, I don’t think you’re going to hang out very long as a CEO or a founder of a company.”

Panzarino and Benioff discussed faults in government regulation of the technology industry at the Disrupt conference. “When it comes to regulation, the government is doing too little too late,” he said, reiterating his stance that the U.S. is in need of a robust new privacy law.

Watch the complete video replay of the discussion here (scroll down).

Benioff’s new book, Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, will debut on October 15. Trailblazer is available for preorder here.


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