Benioff, Chairman and CEO of the global cloud computing company, intends to use General Powell as much more than a figurehead.
With cloud computing giant Salesforce.com reportedly on the lookout to expand their global presence through making new strategic investments in Europe, Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce has recently brought on board someone who knows a thing or two about strategy, General Colin Powell.
General Powell has held a number of important public positions, amongst them being the Secretary of State in President George W. Bush’s administration during the years 2001 to 2005. , During a distinguished military career, Powell also served as United States National Security Advisor, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the years 1989–1993, leading the coalition forces to victory during the first Persian Gulf War.
Announcing General Powell’s appointment to Salesforce’s board of directors, said Marc Benioff confirmed that his friendship with Colin Powell goes by more than 15 years during which time, he was instrumental in shaping Salesforce.com’s integrated philanthropic model as well as the formation of the Salesforce.com Foundation many years ago.
Not only is General Colin Powell one of the most well-known and respected figures on the world stage in both the political and security fronts, but is also known to have considerable business experience, which will be particularly relevant to Salesforce.com, who are in the process of expanding their operations throughout Europe, employing 500 new staff as well as opening new data centers in France and Germany and the United Kingdom.
Powell also acts as strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers , among the world’s leading venture capitalists as well as sitting on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In a statement released by General Colin Powell after his appointment became official he confirmed that after many years of friendship with Marc and admiration for salesforce.com, I am excited to be joining the company’s board of directors. . “In addition to being on the forefront of innovation, salesforce.com has been a remarkable leader, and has inspired many other companies, as it has made philanthropy a central part of its value system.” Summed up General Powell.
According to industry sources, Benioff’s decision to bring Colin Powell on to the board of Salesforce.com’s is a combination of mutual respect, strong friendship and ability to take advantage of the General’s many years of experience in determining strategy, whilst adding considerable credibility to the company may come to doing business with major governments.
Existing members of the Salesforce board include John Roos, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, although having Powell on board could offer considerable help in gaining access to government bodies where Salesforce has yet to do business.
One area where Powell’s presence will undoubtedly be strongly felt is in Salesforce’s philanthropic arm, which donates and discounts the company’s technology for non-profit organizations throughout the world , with the General being a strong force in shaping the formation of the Salesforce.com Foundation.
Other members of the 11-person board include Hewlett-Packard’s former vice president treasurer Lawrence Tomlinson, and Yahoo! chairman Maynard Webb.
Benioff established Salesforce.com in March 1999, from humble beginnings and is generally regarded as one of the pioneer of making software programs more readily accessable through cloud technology, under the terminology of “platform as a service” Marc Benioff explained his concept of cloud sharing and how it spelled success for company in his best selling novel “Behind the Cloud- The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry. “
Marc Benioff graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
After graduation Benioff spent some time working as an assembly language programmer at the Macintosh Division of Apple Computer, before leaving them to join the Oracle Corporation in 1986. Marc remained at Oracle for 13 years, filling a variety of executive positions with the company, gaining valuable experience in sales, marketing, and product development. While still in his early twenties, Marc Benioff was named Oracle’s Rookie of the Year and at the age of just 26, was promoted to the role vice president, making him the youngest person to hold that title.
Since forming Salesforce. Marc has seen the company be the recipient of a number of industry accolades among them a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation award, featuring on BusinessWeek’s list of Top 100 Most Innovative Companies with Forbes naming Salesforce.com as one of America’s Best Companies.
Recognition of Marc Benioff’s abilities also came from the White House when he was chosen by President George W. Bush to become the co-chairman of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee in 2003, a position that he held for two years. Among his time on the committee, Benioff was responsible for publishing a number of critical reports on such important issues as cyber security, computational sciences and health care information technology.
On the philanthropic front, Benioff is responsible for pioneering the 1/1/1 Integrated Philanthropic initiative, in which companies contribute one percent of its profits, one percent of its equity, and one percent of its employee hours back to the communities it serves, which has since adopted by a number of other companies in the high tech sector.
In 2008 Marc to was appointed to join the board of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.
Two years later , Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Krilich announced that they woulkd be making a $100 Million Gift to the UCSF Children’s Hospital with the goal of significantly advancing children’s health worldwide.