The inside story of how Salesforce went from gifting ultra-luxury cars to mass layoffs and a 'showdown' between co-CEOs (2023)

In late 2021, it looked as if Salesforce had reached what Marc Benioff might call "business nirvana."

Covid had launched Salesforce into the stratosphere as demand for its cloud-based software boomed. Its stock was at record levels and Benioff was projecting that annual revenue would double to $50 billion in five years. He boasted that Salesforce had become the fastest-growing software company of all time.

That August, Salesforce brought dozens of executives to Hawaii, an annual tradition where Benioff was known to greet executives in a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops and hand out $10,000 Cartier watches. Among those in attendance was Stewart Butterfield, who had just handed over Slack for a staggering $27.7 billion.

With success like this, it looked as if Benioff could step back. Benioff tapped his lieutenant, Bret Taylor, as co-CEO in November. After Taylor's promotion, he joined the occasional all-hands meeting from his home office in Hawaii, where 12 ukuleles made up his video call background. He cut in with the occasional "Benioff riff," as his monologues about corporate values were known, perhaps name-dropping his friends in Metallica or how he'd meditated with the Dalai Lama.

Then came the downturn, and everything changed. Benioff's co-CEO, Taylor, resigned after a "showdown," kicking off an executive exodus. Salesforce missed internal sales goals, according to documents viewed by Insider. Activist investors entered the picture, pushing drastic cost-cutting measures. In January, Salesforce began layoffs of 10% of its workforce.

Now, Benioff appears to be righting the ship as far as investors are concerned — averting a proxy battle, and making progress on improving its profit margins by posting 22.5% for the most recent year and a goal of 27% this year. Asked about his stewardship of Salesforce during this rocky period, he gave himself high marks.

"If it hasn't been a master class in the last six months on how to manage for all stakeholders, then I've made a mistake, because that's what I've been trying to do," Benioff said in the second of two lengthy interviews with Insider. "This is how to do it."

But did he bail on "Ohana" to do it?

Interviews with dozens of current and recent Salesforce executives and employees offered an intimate lens into this difficult 18-month period and what it has meant for Salesforce and its larger-than-life CEO.

For Benioff, who could once use phrases like "business nirvana" without eliciting too much push-back, the downturn brought certain criticisms to center stage.

For more than 20 years, Benioff has grown Salesforce from startup to global software giant, all while minting himself as a celebrity-like ambassador of "compassionate capitalism" — as he titled his 2004 book. The Salesforce promise was that it was possible to run a hugely profitable business while also "giving back" to the community with its philanthropy. Taking Ohana, the Hawaiian word for family, as his mantra, Benioff fashioned himself as the benevolent CEO who treated employees and customers "the way we would treat our closest relatives," as he wrote in his 2019 memoir "Trailblazer."

These days, there are fewer references to "Ohana" and "compassionate capitalism," and more to "performance-based culture." Within Salesforce, Benioff riffs are at times met with backlash from an angry workforce.

"Should we consider retiring the phrase 'Ohana?'" one employee asked in an internal Slack channel viewed by Insider when Benioff announced layoff plans in January. "You're not going to fire your family during times of need," a former Salesforce executive told Insider.

To Benioff, who's 58, nothing has changed at Salesforce, regardless of what some employees say.

"I don't think they understand Ohana," Benioff told Insider. "We are a performance-based culture. We always have been. We always will be... My job is to be a high performance software executive."

Capitalism done differently

Benioff often says he got the idea for Salesforce as an epiphany while swimming with dolphins in Hawaii.

It was 1996, and Benioff was a star in software sales at Oracle and the protégé of its formidable chief executive Larry Ellison. Though very different at first glance, Benioff and Ellison had a close relationship. Benioff, who was known to wear Hawaiian shirts to work, was a natural marketer and showman. Ellison, a minimalist, had a reputation for being hard-driving and brash. "It's not enough that we win; all others must lose," he once said, borrowing from Genghis Khan.

After a decade at Oracle, Benioff was burnt out and seeking purpose. It was Ellison who urged him to "take a look around and pull yourself back together," as Benioff would write in his memoir.

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Getty/Justin Sullivan / Staff

Benioff rented a hut on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the initial idea of an internet business came to him. Following in the footsteps of his idol Steve Jobs, he'd later tell a Salesforce executive, he next headed to India. A meeting with the "hugging saint," Hindu spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi, led him to "compassionate capitalism" — that a tech company could make piles of money while also being a force for good in the world.

Salesforce launched in 1999, and debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004. Ellison invested $2 million. It was one of the first companies to sell software entirely in the cloud: Its products, which helped salespeople manage customer relationships, were accessible anytime, anywhere. And it paved the way for the software-as-a-service, or SaaS, industry, which today is worth $3 trillion globally.

The product was innovative, but Benioff proved equally successful at selling himself.

One showcase for Benioff is Dreamforce, a sort of corporate version of Burning Man that Salesforce puts on every year near its San Francisco headquarters. It's known internally as "the Marc show," and Benioff often sports custom-designed Christian Louboutin sneakers, adorned with Salesforce-themed motifs, for the occasion. One executive told Insider the annual event costs the company around $100 million. A Salesforce spokesperson said a significant portion of the costs associated with Dreamforce are offset by sponsorships and registration costs.

While Benioff borrowed from the Ellison playbook of growing rapidly through acquisitions, in many ways he built a culture at Salesforce that was in contrast to the cutthroat one he left behind at Oracle.

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Like so many tech CEOs of the era, Benioff embraced the idea of himself and his colleagues as world-changers.

"Look, we have to be the example of stakeholder capitalism," Benioff told Insider. "We're holding that flag for the whole world."

"I can't tell you how many large company CEOs have told me, 'As you go through these challenges and all these different things that are going on — and we've been through every possible challenge — don't forget, you are holding the flag for stakeholder capitalism. You have no choice but to be successful."

And who are these stakeholders? Pretty much everyone, according to Benioff.

"Yes, our investors are our stakeholders. Our employees, our customers, the homeless in San Francisco we've advocated for. Our public schools are a stakeholder. Our planet, and journalists — you're key stakeholders also," he told Insider. "And I have to manage for all of them. And that's what it means to be a modern CEO today."

As Salesforce prospered, the two sides of Benioff— the do-gooder who wants to run Salesforce like a family and the businessman who touts himself as the highest-performing software executive — were thought to co-exist, and Benioff turned this into a brand.

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Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images


Salesforce has always been inextricable from its larger-than-life CEO. As the company grew, Benioff found himself fending off questions about his succession plan.

In fact, Taylor's promotion to co-CEO in November 2021 came by way of a previous failed succession attempt.

The first co-CEO to serve alongside Benioff was Keith Block, a former Oracle executive who joined Salesforce in 2013 and got the promotion in the summer of 2018. According to the plan, they would serve together for 18 months, at which point Benioff would step down as CEO and Block would take over, a source close to Benioff said.

But Benioff had trouble letting go, insiders said. Eventually, he asked that several executives continue to report to him rather than Block. This put Block in an impossible situation and his authority was constantly being undermined, insiders said.

The last straw came in 2019, a person familiar with the situation said. Without consulting Block, Benioff named a new chief operating officer — Taylor. A mild-mannered entrepreneur best known as the co-creator of Google Maps, Taylor had joined Salesforce in 2016 when it acquired his company, the Google Docs competitor Quip.

In late February 2020, just weeks before Covid shuttered Salesforce's global offices, Block chose to resign rather than take over, a source close to Benioff said. Within hours, Block's bio had been deleted from the leadership page of Salesforce's website, Insider reported at the time. (Benioff has said that Block "retired." Block didn't respond to requests for comment.)

The inside story of how Salesforce went from gifting ultra-luxury cars to mass layoffs and a 'showdown' between co-CEOs (3)

Business Insider

Cut to November 2021. Sales were booming, stock prices had reached all-time highs, and Salesforce was on a hiring spree, ultimately adding more than 25,000 employees between October 2020 and January 2023. The company's future had never looked brighter, and Benioff was saying he could use some help at the top of the company. Salesforce picked Taylor.

If the company's choice to stick to the co-CEO model came as a surprise, the choice of Taylor did not. To the rank-and-file employee, as COO, Taylor appeared to have already taken over day-to-day operations.

After Taylor's promotion, Benioff only occasionally joined the weekly all-hands meetings the company implemented in the pandemic, calling in from his sprawling compound in Hawaii, to which a jet used by Benioff makes frequent trips to San Francisco, according to a flight-track website reviewed by Insider.

Benioff would speak about wanting to "empower" Taylor and the rest of his reports, and gave updates on the company's latest corporate giving endeavors such as donations to San Francisco schools, the move to make Salesforce a net-zero company, and his plan to plant 1 trillion trees.

"Marc was definitely more of a spokesperson — the 'rah-rah' CEO rather than the hands-on CEO," a person present for the meetings said.

Within a year, Taylor would be throwing in the towel.

Trouble at the top

After seeing record growth in 2020 and 2021, by early 2022 the ground was starting to shift beneath Benioff's feet. Instead of the soaring growth that Benioff had forecast, sales were slowing down.

There were mutterings that Salesforce was buying its growth by acquiring innovative new products rather than building them in-house. Since 2006, Salesforce has acquired 60 companies at increasingly high prices, including ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5 billion, MuleSoft in 2018 for $6.5 billion, Tableau for $15.7 billion in 2019, and finally Slack for $27.7 billion in 2021.

Insiders said Benioff had grown too distracted by the prospect of introducing new product features and enhancements — the stuff of big public announcements at events like Dreamforce. But what was really needed was the unsexy, technical work of making sure all of Salesforce's products worked together seamlessly on the back end. (Salesforce disputes this, and cited its new Data Cloud as an example of in-house innovation.)

Competing products seemed to improve at a faster clip than the products Salesforce had acquired, insiders said, and several, like Tableau, were seen as stagnating under Salesforce.

Then there was Slack—Salesforce's biggest-ever deal.

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It was Taylor who largely brokered the Slack acquisition. Benioff only had one meeting, via Zoom, with Butterfield during the negotiation process, a former Salesforce executive familiar with the negotiations told Insider.

Benioff and Taylor both pushed to make the Slack acquisition look good. At the 2021 Dreamforce, for example, "everything was Slack," one former executive said. Executives who presented during the Dreamforce keynote were asked to incorporate Slack into their talks, whether or not it was a natural fit. "The goal was to show not only integration but that we were already innovating with Slack — which was not happening at the speed Marc wanted," the person said.

The inside story of how Salesforce went from gifting ultra-luxury cars to mass layoffs and a 'showdown' between co-CEOs (4)

NOAH BERGER/AFP via Getty Images

Wall Street, along with some executives, saw the $27.7 billion Slack acquisition as too expensive and an unnecessary answer to Microsoft's Teams chat app, which was gaining popularity amid the pandemic shift to remote work.

"Slack was just silly," one former executive said. "We did it because Microsoft had Teams, but it didn't align with our culture." Another former executive said: "Why buy Slack if you're not able to improve it or roll it into the product?"

A Salesforce spokesperson said the company has significantly innovated upon Slack, including introducing 90 different innovations in 2022.

But even as Taylor took the lead on certain projects, there was a general sense that Benioff had not loosened his grip on the company even after Taylor was elevated to co-CEO.

According to people close to the executives,Taylor pushed for cutting costs to increase profitability while Benioff wanted to see revenue growth. A Salesforce spokesperson disagreed, saying the company's strategy has always been finding the right mix of growth and profitability. (Taylor did not respond to multiple attempts to contact him.)

Salesforce's success had allowed for costs to run wild.

For many years, Salesforce bought six-figure cars for executives, like an Aston Martin for Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Franklin, and an electric BMW for Alex Dayon, according to insiders. Regulatory filings show Salesforce bought former co-CEO Keith Block a $211,703 automobile and a $86,423 watch in 2019, and a $271,439 automobile for co-founder Parker Harris in 2017.

By May, Salesforce shares had slumped 38 percent since the start of 2022, as its customers pulled back spending on cloud software amid a weakening economy, prompting the company to slow hiring and cancel some of its upcoming offsites. Wall Street was now looking at Salesforce, one of the biggest SaaS companies in the world, as a barometer for how hard a post-peak pandemic downturn would hit the entire industry.

And things would only get worse.

Vultures are circling

By summer 2022, the other shoe had dropped. That June, Salesforce stock dipped to $155, and in August it adjusted down its revenue and profit projections.

The vultures began to circle over Benioff.

Activist investor Starboard Value quietly approached Salesforce and pushed executives to take more aggressive cost-cutting measures, a person familiar with the meetings told Insider.

Echoing some of Taylor's points, investors argued it was time for Salesforce to tighten its belt and, soon after, it would make cuts to its largest expenditure, Salesforce's workforce — Benioff's Ohana.

Salesforce responded that September by announcing a new profitability target, which executives marketed to investors as an ambitious move: A new target of 25% adjusted operating margins, a marker of a company's profitability, by fiscal 2026.

But Starboard didn't think it was ambitious enough, arguing that Salesforce's growth was coming at the cost of profit margins, and that its profits lagged significantly behind its peers.

That fall, the row broke out into public view.

In October, Starboard disclosed its $400 million stake in the company (per SEC filings from February 2023).

The hedge fund proposed that Salesforce push for more than 30% margins, which according to its analysis would put Salesforce in line with other software giants like Oracle and Microsoft.

In the coming months, four more activist investors — including the world's most-feared hedge fund Elliott Management — would disclose significant stakes in Salesforce.

Benioff sat at the helm of an established company. These activist investors were saying that it was time to start acting like it.

A 'showdown' with Taylor

While it might have appeared to the rank-and-file that Benioff was taking it easy, behind the scenes Benioff had never actually let go of the reins, former executives said. He and Taylor were equals, but only on paper.

"Benioff didn't want to relinquish control," one former executive said.

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All but three of Salesforce's top 13 executives reported to Taylor, according to an organization chart viewed by Insider. But Benioff was still conducting performance reviews.

He also still assumed control at meetings with Salesforce's top people, where he was known to pit people against one another in order to see the big picture more clearly. If sales were down, he might invite executives from product, sales, and strategy to argue who was to blame, former executives said.

"Every employee at Salesforce reported to Marc, even if they reported to him through Bret," a Salesforce spokesperson said. "Marc was a CEO. It's not exactly uncommon to get to the best outcomes through healthy debate."

Taylor saw the writing on the wall. With so many activist investors getting involved, Salesforce would have to cut costs significantly and lay off thousands of people, and it would be hard for the company to innovate for a while. Would he go through all of that just to maintain the illusion of being in charge?

"You could feel and sense the frustration level of not being able to change the place," a former Salesforce executive said of Taylor's final months at the company. "And he was the top dog. If you can't feel like you're changing the place as the top dog, it's gotta be frustrating right?"

So, Taylor made an "abrupt" play to become Salesforce's sole CEO, according to a former executive familiar with the matter.

The inside story of how Salesforce went from gifting ultra-luxury cars to mass layoffs and a 'showdown' between co-CEOs (5)


"It was a showdown," the person said, with Benioff saying that Taylor wasn't ready.

Taylor said he was done.

In an interview, Benioff didn't directly address this version of events, saying "the past is the past." He did say that Taylor's departure came as a surprise.

"Nobody expected that, including me. It was a disappointment. That's all there is to it. And then based on that, we had to pivot," he said.

Benioff publicly shared the news during an earnings call on Nov. 30, exactly a year to the day that he named Taylor co-CEO. "We have to let him be free, let him go, and I understand, but I don't like it," Benioff said on the call, seemingly going off-script. "And Bret, you know that you're always going to be our brother. We love you deeply, you have a home here, we're gonna try to get you back somehow. Don't think you're gonna somehow get out of this alive because you're not."

Other executives followed. Five top executives from Salesforce and its subsidiaries, most notably Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson, announced their departure just days after Taylor. Benioff's closest confidants at Salesforce now are Alex Dayon, chairman of Salesforce's advisory board, and Salesforce President and COO Brian Milham, one former long-time executive said.

Taylor formally left Salesforce in January 2023. Benioff was once again on his own.


As activist investors kept up the pressure, a backlash against Benioff's Ohana culture was brewing.

Salespeople lamented over micromanagement and increasing pressures to perform. In October, Salesforce executed a small round of layoffs, citing performance reasons.

Benioff had been the rare CEO during the pandemic who actively railed against return-to-office mandates. Now, Salesforce was quietly informing some of its salespeople that they should resume in-person work a few days a week.

On a Friday night in mid-December, Benioff posed a question to an all-company Slack channel. "How do we increase the productivity of our employees at Salesforce?" he asked.

New employees hired during the pandemic and younger employees, he asserted, were not as productive. "Is this a reflection of our office policy?"

Between the layoffs and the return-to office mandates, a popular Salesforce Slack channel called "the-airing-of-grievances," was rife with internal chatter of an eroding "Ohana" — or maybe one that had always been a facade, some speculated.

On January 4, Salesforce announced a plan to lay off 10% of its workforce, per an SEC filing.

The next day, Benioff showed up late to an all-hands meeting and rambled for nearly two hours. Such speeches would have once been cheerfully called a Benioff riff. One employee instead described it as a "filibuster."

"Is Marc filibustering 47,600+ employees right now by talking in circles and avoiding the topic at hand," the employee wrote in an internal Slack message viewed by Insider at the time.

When asked about the infamous all-hands call, Benioff was resolute that he'd done his best in a difficult situation.

"I'm opening my heart up and telling them exactly how I feel," Benioff said of his approach to the call. "I think that some companies in our industry have taken another strategy. Microsoft, when they announced their layoffs, had Sting playing at Davos that night. There was no all-hands call."

The meeting was a major blow to both morale, and it fed a growing backlash against Benioff's beloved "Ohana" mantra.

Annoyance over Benioff's use of "Ohana" wasn't necessarily new.

Back in 2019, Salesforce diversity and PR leaders had approached Benioff about the company's co-opting of Hawaiian terms, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Some changes followed. An annual employee bonus, for example, was thereafter referred to as a "gratitude," rather than "Kokua," the Hawaiian word for "to help." (Salesforce just cut its gratitude bonus to 70%).

But Benioff refused to let go of "Ohana."

Benioff was "dead set" on keeping the term, according to another person familiar with the discussions.

But then, events overtook him.

Once layoffs started being announced at a regular clip early this year, at least some references to "Ohana" have been replaced by talk of Salesforce's "performance-based culture."

"The employees more than the execs took that at face value," one former executive said of the company's commitment to "Ohana."

A 'New Day' at Salesforce

"I use the Japanese principle of shoshin, beginner's mind," Benioff told Insider in a phone interview in March.

Benioff was in a euphoric mood after delivering a far better than expected fourth-quarter earnings report, and was spinning the mounting pressure campaign from a group of activist investors as a learning opportunity. "It's been fantastic," he had told analysts and investors.

As Benioff reveled in Salesforce's progress in meeting Wall Street's demands — it was a "New Day," the company said — the first congratulatory text had come from his old mentor.

"Huge call out to my mentor Larry Ellison, who has spent a lot of time with me giving me the Oracle playbook and I'm very grateful to him," Benioff had told investors on the company's most recent earnings call, answering a question about improving Salesforce's profitability. "He was the first person who texted me after the earnings came out today."

Benioff once listed the Ellison playbook in his book, Behind the Cloud. The last point on the list reads, "Don't give others your power. Ever."

The inside story of how Salesforce went from gifting ultra-luxury cars to mass layoffs and a 'showdown' between co-CEOs (6)

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

For Salesforce, this particular earnings report had been much anticipated by Wall Street and the business press. The whole world knew Benioff was under a significant amount of pressure. Elliott Management later released a statement that said Salesforce still had a significant amount of work ahead of it, but for now, the company — and Benioff — had pulled through.

To some employees, though, it felt as if Salesforce had decided to put profitability before family, and that the culture of Salesforce has started to resemble the tough environment at Oracle. After two decades of rejecting elements of the Ellison school of management, at least as it related to company culture, had Benioff become much more like his former mentor?

"We all have to be our own people," said Benioff when asked about the comparisons to Ellison. "I'm 58 years old. I've really come to the point in my life where I kind of say, 'This is just who I am.'"

Benioff said he regularly checks the "the-airing-of-grievances" Slack channel and is aware of the complaints. Many, he said, appear to be coming from employees who arrived at Salesforce through acquisitions and may not be attuned to the company culture.

Benioff also suggested that "Business Insider headlines" about his Salesforce employees' criticisms were to blame for employee morale. "I'm not kidding you," he said.

As for that other long-standing gripe — that Salesforce did not have a clear succession plan — Benioff still insists the co-CEO model is a good one.

"The co-CEO model was working," Benioff said. "I love that model."

Recently, some Salesforce executives have noticed a familiar face at meetings: George Hu, a former Salesforce chief operating officer who recently left the same position at Twilio, has been hired by Benioff as an adviser.

People close to Benioff doubt if he can ever really let go.

"Salesforce is Marc and Marc is Salesforce," one former longtime Salesforce executive told Insider. "Marc will never not run the company. I don't know if there could ever be another."

Asked whether he can ever let go, Benioff said: "I don't know. I'm still running the company. I guess I'll tell you if that happens."

Do you have insight to share? Contact Ashley Stewart via email ( or send a secure message from a nonwork device via Signal (+1-425-344-8242). Reach out to Ellen Thomas via email ( or via Signal (+1-646-847-9416).


Why did Salesforce succeed? ›

Salesforce set out to make a product that was simpler and easier to use than the bulky products that were available. Theirs would be quick to set up, integrated easily with existing systems, easy to pay for per user, and would always run fast.

Who is Salesforce owned by? ›

Marc Russell Benioff (born September 25, 1964) is an American internet entrepreneur and philanthropist. Benioff is best known as the co-founder, chairman and CEO of the software company Salesforce, as well as being the owner of the magazine Time since 2018. San Francisco, California, U.S.

How much does Marc Benioff own of Salesforce? ›

Net Worth Summary

The majority of Benioff's fortune is derived from his stake in Salesforce, a provider of software for sales, customer service and analytics. He owns owns about 3% of the company, according to a January 2023 regulatory filing.

What was Salesforce before? ›

Salesforce Platform (formerly known as is a platform as a service (PaaS) that allows developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main application.

Who is Salesforce biggest customer? ›

Walmart Inc. and Amazon are the biggest Salesforce clients, with revenues amounting to $573B and $502.191B, respectively. Notably, Salesforce is honored to be listed on the Fortune 500 itself, ranking at #136 in 2022.

Why do people like Salesforce so much? ›

It includes a number of tools that will make your work easier and save time and money, so you're able to focus on other business areas. The reporting tools are customizable, enable contract management and offer real time reports and analytical data. Salesforce also offers flexibility due to its customization services.

Is Apple using Salesforce? ›

San Francisco, California — Apple and Salesforce today announced a strategic partnership that brings together the number one customer relationship management platform and iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system, enabling powerful new mobile apps for business.

Does Amazon use Salesforce? ›

Amazon Connect & Salesforce Service Cloud Voice

Salesforce Service Cloud Voice seamlessly integrates with Amazon Connect, providing contact center agents with a complete set of tools in their agent workspace to deliver enhanced customer service.

What companies are backed by Salesforce? ›

Since 2009, we've invested in and partnered with more than 400 of the world's most tenacious enterprise software companies from seed to IPO, including Airtable, Databricks, DocuSign, Guild Education, Hopin,, nCino, Snowflake, Snyk, Stripe, Tanium, and Zoom.

Who owns the most Salesforce stock? ›

The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 8.1%. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 6.9% of common stock, and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. holds about 4.5% of the company stock. Furthermore, CEO Marc Benioff is the owner of 2.8% of the company's shares.

Who are the highest paid execs at Salesforce? ›

Compensation by Company
Name And TitleTotal CashOther
Marc Benioff Chair of the Board and Co-CEOTotal Cash $4,650,000Other $1,451,977
Parker Harris Chief Technology Officer and Co-FounderTotal Cash $2,000,000Other $0
Bret Taylor Vice Chair of the Board and Co-CEOTotal Cash $2,759,603Other $34,270
3 more rows

What is the salary of Salesforce CEO? ›

The average Salesforce executive compensation is $219,810 a year. Salesforce's highest paid executives include: Parker Harris $10,375,027 and Alexandre Dayon $9,864,797.

Why not to use Salesforce? ›

Overall price. First of all, Salesforce is expensive—both the monthly and annual plans cost more than most other CRMs on the market. While it is equipped with many scalable features, Salesforce may not always gel best with your business, making many of its tools redundant.

What is the biggest sale in Salesforce history? ›

Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of enterprise cloud computing company Salesforce. Salesforce is making the biggest acquisition in its 21-year history. The company announced on Tuesday that it's buying chat software developer Slack for over $27 billion.

Who was Salesforce first customer? ›

Traction, at six months from founding: In August of 1999 Blue Martini, which has since been acquired and is now known as Escalate Retail, becomes Salesforce's first customer.

Does Walmart use Salesforce? ›

The Walmart And Salesforce Partnership Has Benefits Far Beyond The Obvious.

Who is the best Salesforce partner? ›

Marketing Cloud Partners for Enterprise
  1. Slalom Consulting. While they are one of the largest Salesforce Implementation Partners, they do have an extremely well-established SFDC Marketing Cloud Practice. ...
  2. Dentsu (formerly DEG Digital) ...
  3. Deloitte Digital. ...
  4. WPP. ...
  5. Pierry (now Wunderman Thompson)
Apr 3, 2023

Who is better than Salesforce? ›

When it comes to Salesforce alternatives, the most similar platform to Salesforce on this list is Microsoft Dynamics 365. As with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes with top-notch reporting and business intelligence features, as well as the ability to easily build a tailored solution through add-ons and apps.

Is Salesforce job stressful? ›

We get it! I talk to a lot of Salesforce admins in that same position every day, and I hear a lot about your frustrations and what's stressing you out right now. Even in a candidate's market, when employers are clamoring for your exact skill set, applying for jobs is STRESSFUL.

Why I don't like Salesforce? ›

Salespeople hate Salesforce because it sucks for them

Salespeople hate feeling like they're being controlled and watched over, and sometimes they resist using the tools leadership provides for them. And when it comes to Salesforce, sometimes this reluctance is because the software doesn't actually help them.

Do people enjoy working at Salesforce? ›

For many people, working at a company like Google, Apple, Meta, or Salesforce is the ultimate career goal. These companies are known for their incredible offices, high salaries, and amazing cultures. It's safe to say that Salesforce is amongst one of the best companies to work for in the world.

Does Tesla use Salesforce? ›

Tesla replaces Salesforce with its own CRM!

Does the US government use Salesforce? ›

Salesforce government CRM helps agencies build stronger connections between citizens, employees, governments, services, and the information they all need. That makes government more responsive, effective, and above all, efficient.

Does Coca Cola use Salesforce? ›

The company is powering multiple parts of its business with custom apps built on this platform. Thorsten Kohler, CEO of Your SL, Coca-Cola Germany's Salesforce implementation partner, explained the platform and its scalability: “It's like a big toolbox.

What industry uses Salesforce the most? ›

According to Statista, it was found that in 2022, almost 30 percent of Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) customers belong to the professional services industry. The efficiency of any CRM enormously enhances when it has the capability to manage business operations across various industries.

Which professionals use Salesforce? ›

Marketing professionals use Salesforce to target the right person at the right time on the right channel and to build a marketing strategy around the customer journey and automate engagement. Using Salesforce for marketing can help you improve: Lead generation. Customer acquisition.

Would Google buy Salesforce? ›

The equity-research firm in its 2020 software outlook report said Google could acquire Salesforce to leapfrog Microsoft in the cloud market in a deal that it projects to be valued at as much as $250 billion — a premium of some 70% of its market cap at the time of writing.

Is Salesforce still a good company? ›

Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP are still some of the best places to work in the world even after layoffs, according to Glassdoor. Velib bicycles are parked in front of the the U.S. computer and micro-computing company headquarters Microsoft on January 25, 2023 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.

Which automotive companies use Salesforce? ›

Innovate faster with trailblazing apps. See how GM OnStar, SNCF Gares & Connexions, Toyota, and Triumph all built game-changing apps on the Salesforce Platform.

Is Salesforce in debt? ›

What Is Salesforce's Debt? The chart below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Salesforce had US$10.6b in debt in October 2022; about the same as the year before. However, it does have US$11.9b in cash offsetting this, leading to net cash of US$1.32b.

What is the rank of Salesforce in the world? ›

International Data Corporation (IDC) has ranked Salesforce as the #1 CRM provider in its latest Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker *.

Who tried to buy Salesforce? ›

Talks between the world's largest software maker and, the San Francisco-based cloud-computing company, reached a serious level when Microsoft offered as much as $55 billion, according to CNBC. However, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff wanted as much as $70 billion.

How does Salesforce make so much money? ›

Sales of subscriptions, support port services and, professional services comprise most of Salesforce's revenue. Subscription and support fees, which made up 94% of all revenue for Salesforce in the fiscal year 2021, were the company's main income source.

Is it hard to get a job in Salesforce? ›

It is very difficult to get a job at Salesforce with absolutely no experience. One way to do it is to try to land an internship. However, there are many entry-level roles available.

Which country has most Salesforce jobs? ›

Salesforce developers are in high demand across the world. Top countries offering employment potential for Salesforce developers include the United States, India, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.

What is the salary level of a Salesforce VP? ›

The estimated total pay for a Vice President at Salesforce is $620,603 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $242,283 per year.

What is a typical Salesforce salary? ›

The typical Salesforce Sales Representative salary is ₹4,07,536 per year. Sales Representative salaries at Salesforce can range from ₹1,87,658 - ₹10,74,543 per year. This estimate is based upon 8 Salesforce Sales Representative salary report(s) provided by employees or estimated based upon statistical methods.

What is the minimum Salesforce salary? ›

Salesforce Developer salary in India ranges between ₹ 2.4 Lakhs to ₹ 10.7 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 4.9 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 17k latest salaries received from Salesforce Developers.

What is the average salary increase in Salesforce? ›

Salesforce Certified Administrator didn't even make the top 10. Speaking more generally, the survey also asked if they experienced an increase in their salary after earning (any) certification: 67% did, reporting an average salary increase of 21%

What is Salesforce weakness? ›

Weaknesses of Salesforce. Dependence on One Region. Increasing Marketing and Sales Expenses. High Employee Turnover Rate.

Why choose Salesforce over Microsoft? ›

We recommend Salesforce for younger companies and smaller businesses because of its lower starting price and its extensive integrations with third-party applications. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is better for larger and more established businesses, especially ones that already use the Microsoft Office suite extensively.

Is Salesforce have a good future? ›

Salesforce is an obvious choice if you're an IT professional looking to specialize in a field with bright career prospects. Salesforce certifications are a great way to increase your understanding of and proficiency with the most widely used CRM platform on the planet.

What is Salesforce No 1 value? ›

Salesforce Values

Trust—Trust is our number one value. Nothing is more important than the trust of our customers—and all stakeholders.

Does Salesforce belong to Microsoft? ›

SAN FRANCISCO — Five years ago, Marc Benioff negotiated to sell Salesforce, the software company he co-founded in 1999 and has run ever since, to Microsoft.

Has Salesforce ever made a profit? ›

Salesforce gross profit for the twelve months ending January 31, 2023 was $22.992B, a 18.11% increase year-over-year. Salesforce annual gross profit for 2023 was $22.992B, a 18.11% increase from 2022.

Where is Salesforce headquartered? ›

Image of Where is Salesforce headquartered?
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a commercial, financial, and cultural center of Northern California.

Does Salesforce do layoffs? ›

In the case of Salesforce, the former employee says the layoffs were so shocking because there was no real warning. “Our numbers were good, and I figured we kind of passed the wave of layoffs in December, so we would have been good to go. But that wasn't the case at all. It was a complete, complete blindside,” he says.

Why has Salesforce been so successful what did the company do well when it created and expanded its product offerings? ›

Pioneering the SaaS model: Salesforce was one of the first companies to offer Software as a Service (SaaS), which allowed businesses to access software through the internet rather than installing it on their own servers. This made it easier and more cost-effective for companies to implement and maintain CRM systems.

What makes Salesforce stand out? ›

Salesforce is the market leader when it comes to customer satisfaction for growth among potential CRM buyers. Salesforce CRM is delivered through the cloud as software as a service (SaaS). On one hand, that means there is never any need to pour cash reserves into hardware and software purchases.

Why is Salesforce leading? ›

Salesforce provides a number of features that are tailored to the needs of sales and marketing professionals. Salesforce provides statistics, configurable dashboards, customer interaction tools, prospect and lead tracking, multitasking, and other features.

Why is Salesforce such a great company? ›

Why Salesforce is a Great Place to Work. Salesforce is a Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization. The company has created a Great Place to Work FOR ALL their employees by excelling on the 5 dimensions of a High-Trust, High-Performance Culture™ – Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride and Camaraderie.

Which company did Salesforce acquire recently to bring more strong security for customers? ›

Vlocity. June 1, 2020: Salesforce completed its acquisition of Vlocity, a leading provider of industry-specific cloud and mobile software for the world's top companies in communications, media and entertainment, energy and utilities, insurance, health, and government organizations.

When did Salesforce start customer success? ›

Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to digitally transform around their customers by harnessing the power of automation, artificial intelligence, and real-time data to make every customer experience more personal, valuable and memorable.

What are 3 unique facts about Salesforce? ›

23 Interesting Salesforce Statistics and Facts in 2023
  • Salesforce Is Used by Nearly 23% of Companies Across the World. ...
  • Nearly 150,000 Companies Use Salesforce. ...
  • Salesforce Earned a Revenue of 7.84 billion USD in Q3 2022. ...
  • The Americas Are the Largest Market for Salesforce Products.
Feb 17, 2023

What are the 5 key values of Salesforce? ›

Our core values – Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality, and Sustainability – guide everything we do.

Why not to choose Salesforce? ›

Overall price. First of all, Salesforce is expensive—both the monthly and annual plans cost more than most other CRMs on the market. While it is equipped with many scalable features, Salesforce may not always gel best with your business, making many of its tools redundant.

What is Salesforce best known for? ›

Salesforce is best known as one of the first cloud-based software companies that revolutionized business technology. We took the Rolodex and made it accessible to everyone in the company 24/7 by placing it in the cloud. No longer would companies need to install expensive and custom-built computer infrastructures.

What is the world ranking of Salesforce? ›

International Data Corporation (IDC) has ranked Salesforce as the #1 CRM provider in its latest Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker *. This is the ninth time Salesforce has earned the top spot.

What are Salesforce employees called? ›

We call our community of Salesforce employees, customers, and partners "Trailblazers." We're a one-of-a-kind family. Trailblazers around the world reach across roles, companies, and industries to help one another learn, grow, and succeed.

What is the Salesforce culture like? ›

Salesforce is built on a set of five core values: Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Sustainability, and Equality. By making technology more accessible, we're helping create a future with greater opportunity and equality for all.

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