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Salesforce’s Marc Benioff is raising the bar as a woke CEO

Benioff is No. 53 on the Recode 100.

You might call Marc Benioff a “woke CEO”: His willingness to use his voice, reputation — and Twitter account — as a megaphone for good and for social impact put him at the forefront of a generation of entrepreneurs who have figured out that business is the best platform for change. And Benioff has quite a platform: This year, Salesforce leaped over the $10 billion revenue milestone, one of only four enterprise software companies to do so.

A 35-year veteran of the software industry — he worked for 13 years at Oracle and, before that, at Apple — Benioff is one of the pioneers of cloud computing, founding Salesforce in 1999 with a cloud-based technology model, a pay-as-you-go business model and an integrated corporate philanthropy model. He instituted a company-wide salary assessment to ensure that men and women were being paid equally for comparable work, and has an ongoing commitment to Bay Area public schools.

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