The Salesforce CEqO Role


The Salesforce CEqO Role

In amongst all the innovation and commercial growth at Salesforce this year, Benioff doesn’t want to neglect the moral topics within, and surrounding, his empire.

Benioff recently appointed his new CEqO (Chief Equality Officer), Tony Prophet. Prophet will be is his new right-hand man to deal with the issues that Benioff holds very dear to his heart: gender rights, racial equality and philanthropy.

There is a lot of promise for this new executive; “He brings a gravitas to the position.” (Benioff)

Prophet is clearly both a switched-on and compassionate individual, speaking about how his passion came from stories of “conflict minerals” in the Democratic Republic of Congo [hyperlink] , one humanity crisis that affects the IT and electronics industries.

The push for Equality

Salesforce was founded with a philanthropic ethos. The 1-1-1 model AKA Pledge 1% has been active since 1999, where 1% of Salesforce’s equity, products, and employees’ time are donated through the Salesforce Foundation.

The Salesforce Foundation has been so successful, and many companies in the partner network mirror this model. Personally, I know a few Salesforce employees from the Dublin office that had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to complete their 1% time donation for the fiscal year. Not one person failed to mention how rewarding the experience was.

Benioff has not lost sight of this in the past 17 years, as we see equality and philanthropy being a key part of his V2MOM*, a framework of values that trickles down the hierarchies of the organisation.

*vision, values, methods, obstacles, measures.

One notable occasion where Salesforce’s fight for equality hit the news was back in November 2015. All salaries of Salesforce’s employees (17,000 at the time) were reviewed, and it was found that $3mil was required to close the uncovered gender pay gap. This also spurred a 33% rise in the number of women promoted in Salesforce, via the High-Potential Leadership Program.

Why not Chief Diversity Officer?

Chief Diversity Officer is the usual name for the role, but Benioff deliberately avoided this title, claiming that Prophet’s role will span issues both internally in Salesforce and beyond in the wider world. It’s promising to see this ethos still coming top down.

Whilst Salesforce gives ongoing support to numerous different causes – …. – one particular partnership will get the limelight at Dreamforce: Salesforce + (RED), Bono’s AIDS charity, aiming to raise $1mil during the conference.

Why should you care?

For the majority of people who come into contact with Salesforce daily, you live and breathe Salesforce; whether you’re a consultant that knows all the ins and outs of the platform, an end user that can’t live without your CRM, or even part of the professional recruitment network, for example. Everyone should leverage Benioff’s humanitarian approach to promote the Salesforce difference and propel our own lives. Simply put – we should have pride knowing that we work in an industry that is both powerful and upstanding.


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