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‘Forever Changed’: Salesforce Looks Back at Year Defined by COVID-19

A view of Salesforce Tower San Francisco

Last year was a year like no other. 

Virtually overnight, we were all thrust into a new world — an all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. As COVID-19 began its global spread, we shut down our 160 offices around the world and sent 54,000 employees to work from home. Little did we know then that the year would be consumed by multiple crises — not just a global health crisis, but also overlapping economic, racial justice and leadership crises.

With that as our backdrop, we are very fortunate and grateful to have experienced a year of record growth, delivering $21.25 billion in revenue, up 24% year-over-year, for our fiscal year, ending January 31, 2021. We also reached a milestone as a public company, becoming one of the 30 companies listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

We had to reimagine every part of our business — how we work from anywhere; how we keep our employees safe and healthy; how we help our customers navigate the pandemic; and how we support our communities around the world. We pivoted the entire company almost overnight and implemented a new business operating model aligned with our core values—trust, customer success, innovation and equality—relevant to a radically altered world. 

We redefined how we work, sell, service, market, collaborate, analyze data, and support our communities from anywhere. We brought Dreamforce into homes, coffee shops and mountaintops, and produced hundreds of other virtual leadership programs, generating nearly half a billion views.

Throughout the year, we saw significant acceleration in digital transformation in virtually every industry. Whether B2B or B2C—companies needed to accelerate their efforts to build direct, trusted relationships with their customers and deliver success from anywhere. 

We see that acceleration reflected in the use of our Customer 360 platform. On any given day, our customers generate 3 million Commerce Cloud transactions, up 100 percent from a year ago, because people are shopping from anywhere. They create more than 4 million sales opportunities working from their home, office, coffee shop or mountaintop. They deliver an average of 2.9 billion marketing messages across any digital channel, and log nearly 5 billion case interactions servicing from anywhere. And Einstein is now delivering more than 93 billion AI-powered predictions every day across Customer 360.

We expect this pace of digital transformation to continue even as the pandemic subsides. The world of work is forever changed — we aren’t going back to pre-pandemic office life. While some employees will be working daily in offices, the work from anywhere experience during the pandemic is inspiring new flexible work styles and reimagined digital and physical work spaces, prioritizing health and safety.

In December, we signed a definitive agreement to acquire Slack. Slack is pioneering a whole new way of working and collaboration, connecting people and data across systems, apps and devices. The transaction is anticipated to close in our second quarter of fiscal year 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

Following are some of the other highlights from our fiscal year 2021. 

Innovations to help customers through the pandemic 

In a matter of weeks we developed new products to address urgent customer needs.

  • We launched, a suite of expert advice, content, data, and new products to help companies around the globe reopen their businesses and communities, and prepare for the new normal. We also announced new partnerships with Okta, Thrive Global, Siemens, Workday and CVS Health to help companies reopen safely. We’ve since expanded to help companies get back to growth and employees thrive in the new normal. 
  • We also introduced for Schools to help schools reopen safely and support student learning anywhere. 
  • We created Vaccine Cloud to help public health authorities, healthcare providers, and nonprofits quickly scale vaccine operations, from recipient registration and scheduling to inventory management and public health outreach.
Vaccine Cloud helps organizations easily schedule and prioritize vaccination appointments

Customer 360 innovation put digital first

Companies like AT&T, Bentley, Zoom, Carrefour, Humana, GAP and SONOS and thousands more turned to Salesforce to accelerate their digital transformations. In addition to the three major annual updates to Customer 360, we introduced several new products and industry solutions, including: 

  • Hyperforce, a reimagination of Salesforce’s platform architecture built to securely and reliably deliver the entire Salesforce Customer 360 on every major public cloud. We’ve already deployed Hyperforce in India and Germany and plan to add support for 10 additional countries over the next year. 
  • Einstein Automate, a complete end-to-end workflow solution that increases productivity by automating tasks and streamlining time-consuming processes. 
  • Service Cloud Workforce Engagement, which will help contact centers predict demand for customer service, staff agents appropriately, and remotely coach agents in real-time to deliver trusted service experiences.
  • Salesforce Industries expanded its product portfolio with three clouds for customers in communications, media, energy and utilities, and new solutions for the public sector, providing purpose-built apps with industry-specific data models and pre-built business processes that help drive ROI and digital engagement.
  • Digital 360 combines Salesforce’s industry-leading Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Experience Cloud to give customers a scalable, data-driven, single source of truth for personalizing customer experiences in today’s all-digital world, and includes Commerce Cloud Payments, enabling brands to embed payments into their sites with clicks, not code.
  • Tableau CRM, the integration of the Einstein Analytics platform with the overall Tableau portfolio.
  • Loyalty Management, a new product that allows customers to design, manage, and optimize their customer loyalty programs (B2B and B2C).
  • Salesforce signed definitive agreements to acquire Acumen Solutions, a leading professional services firm with deep Salesforce knowledge and extensive industry expertise across public sector, manufacturing, financial services.
  • Einstein Call Coaching, which brings conversational intelligence into the CRM to enable remote coaching and better insights for sales managers, became generally available.
  • Service Cloud Voice, which brings together phone, digital channels, and CRM data into one unified console, became generally available.
  • Customer 360 Truth, a collection of best-in-class data management, consumer identity access management and privacy tools, became generally available. 
  • Revenue Cloud, which gives businesses the agility to transform the buying experience, accelerate new revenue streams and improve revenue efficiency, became generally available.
  • Salesforce Anywhere, which includes live Quip documents and templates and helps teams bring conversations, processes and documents directly into the CRM, became generally available.
  • Service Cloud Virtual Remote Assistance, which allows field service technicians and support agents to visually interact with customers or remote technicians via real-time, guided interaction, became generally available.

Supporting our communities through a difficult year

We shifted our philanthropic focus to address the various crises our communities around the world were facing.

  • In partnership with UCSF, our hospital system here in San Francisco, we’ve now sourced 60 million units of PPE and delivered it to over 300 healthcare facilities around the world, in addition to launching a free trail on Trailhead to help anyone skill up as a contact tracer.
Plane filled with PPE that shipped to support the United Kingdom National Health Service
  • We gave $20 million to five school districts across the country to help them adapt to remote learning. 
  • We’ve created Small Business Funds in the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, Singapore, and San Francisco, issuing more than $7 million in grants to over 800 small businesses to support their businesses during this time.
  • Today, more than 245 million people in the U.S. can get their state’s COVID-19 data through a public Tableau dashboard, and thousands of organizations are relying on Tableau’s COVID-19 Data Hub, such as Verizon, UNC Health, University of Chicago, UNICEF, and Experian.
  • We assembled a Racial Equality and Justice Taskforce to help drive systemic change in our workplace and community across four P’s — people, purchasing, philanthropy, and policy. 
  • We made nearly $23M in donations to advance economic opportunity, increase civic engagement, and promote systems change and resilience among Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. 
  • Tableau Foundation ​dedicated a $2 million package of grants specifically supporting kids of color in the Puget Sound region.
  • Tableau and SurveyMonkey partnered with Axios to provide broad access to public opinion data through a 50 state, five question survey over the 10 week period running up to the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. The partnership provided in-depth expert analysis and opened the door for everyone to explore national sentiment in the lead up to the election.
  • To celebrate the holidays and support local businesses, Tableau employees enjoyed 3,500 takeaway dinners, selected by renowned chef Ethan Stowell, from 40 locally-owned restaurants across Seattle. Employees could also donate their dinner’s value to charity and, to date, directed more than $50,000 to United Way King County.

Supporting the planet through a climate crisis

At Salesforce, we believe that business is one of the greatest platforms for change and we are committed to serving the interests of all our stakeholders – including the environment. 

  • In support of’s mission, we announced our own goal to support and mobilize the conservation, restoration and growth of 100 million trees by the end of the decade. 
  • We also launched a digital tree tracker that tracks our progress towards the 100 million tree goal; announced the US Chapter of along with 25 other companies, NGO and governments as part of the global trillion trees platform. 
  • While we couldn’t stand up large, in-person volunteer events, we supported the #ArborDayatHome campaign on Arbor Day and matched donations for 50,000 trees – one tree representing each of our employees.
  • We expanded our partnership with Accenture’s Sustainability Services to bring sustainability to the front office and provide the C-suite with a true 360-degree view into their company’s historical and real-time environmental, social and governance (ESG) data.  
  • We procured 75% renewable energy and invested in our first international power purchase agreement with X-ELIO’s Blue Grass solar farm in Queensland, Australia. 
  • We also open sourced our approach to renewable energy in the whitepaper More Than a Megawatt. In it, companies can find a procurement framework and actionable guidance from technical experts to evaluate renewable energy projects. 
  • We began working with 60% of our top suppliers to set their own science-based targets over the next four years as part of our 1.5°C efforts. We are providing tools, resources, and technology to help our suppliers break through obstacles hindering supply chain sustainability progress.
  • We launched Salesforce’s first Sustainability at Home Guide, intended to provide suggestions to make working from home more sustainable by sharing actionable ways to improve workspaces at home and protect the planet. 

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication relates to a proposed business combination transaction between, inc. (“Salesforce”) and Slack Technologies, Inc. (“Slack”). This communication includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements relate to future events and anticipated results of operations, business strategies, the anticipated benefits of the proposed transaction, the anticipated impact of the proposed transaction on the combined company’s business and future financial and operating results, the expected amount and timing of synergies from the proposed transaction, the anticipated closing date for the proposed transaction and other aspects of our operations or operating results. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “foresees,” “forecasts,” “estimates” or other words or phrases of similar import.  It is uncertain whether any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of the combined companies or the price of Salesforce’s or Slack’s stock. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the parties’ control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the impact of public health crises, such as pandemics (including coronavirus (COVID-19)) and epidemics and any related company or government policies and actions to protect the health and safety of individuals or government policies or actions to maintain the functioning of national or global economies and markets; the effect of the announcement of the merger on the ability of Salesforce or Slack to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with customers, suppliers and others with whom Salesforce or Slack do business, or on Salesforce’s or Slack’s operating results and business generally; risks that the merger disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; the outcome of any legal proceedings related to the merger; the ability of the parties to consummate the proposed transaction on a timely basis or at all; the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to consummation of the proposed transaction, including the ability to secure regulatory approvals on the terms expected, at all or in a timely manner; the ability of Salesforce to successfully integrate Slack’s operations; the ability of Salesforce to implement its plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to Salesforce’s business after the completion of the transaction and realize expected synergies; and business disruption following the merger. These risks, as well as other risks related to the proposed transaction, are included in the registration statement on Form S-4 (as amended, the “Registration Statement”) that was filed by Salesforce with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and declared effective by the SEC on January 29, 2021, the prospectus that was filed by Salesforce with the SEC on January 29, 2021 (the “Prospectus”) and the definitive proxy statement that was filed by Slack with the SEC on January 29, 2021 (the “Proxy Statement”).  While the list of factors presented here is, and the list of factors presented in the Registration Statement, Prospectus or Proxy Statement are, considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. For additional information about other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, please refer to Salesforce’s and Slack’s respective periodic reports and other filings with the SEC, including the risk factors identified in Salesforce’s and Slack’s most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Reports on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements included in this communication are made only as of the date hereof. Neither Salesforce nor Slack undertakes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is not intended to and shall not constitute an offer to buy or sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.  No offering of securities shall be made, except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  

Additional Information about the Merger and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed transaction, Salesforce filed with the SEC the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, and Slack filed with the SEC the Proxy Statement.  The Registration was declared effective on January 29, 2021 and the Prospectus and the Proxy Statement were first mailed to shareholders of Slack on or about January 29, 2021.  Each of Salesforce and Slack may also file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. The information in the Prospectus and Proxy Statement may be changed. This document is not a substitute for the Registration Statement, the Prospectus and the Proxy Statement or any other document that Salesforce or Slack may file with the SEC.  INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, THE PROSPECTUS AND THE PROXY STATEMENT AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT MAY BE FILED WITH THE SEC, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THESE DOCUMENTS, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION.  Investors and security holders are able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement, the Prospectus and the Proxy Statement and all other documents containing important information about Salesforce, Slack and the proposed transaction, once such documents are filed with the SEC, through the website maintained by the SEC at  Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Salesforce may be obtained free of charge on Salesforce’s website at or by contacting Salesforce’s Investor Relations department at  Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Slack may be obtained free of charge on Slack’s website at or by contacting Slack’s Investor Relations department at


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