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Salesforce.com CEO credits Steve Jobs with his success

October 5, 2011 |  7:39 pm

Benioff

Salesforce.com Chief Executive Marc Benioff says he owes a lot to Steve Jobs -- namely his company.

Benioff got his first job at Apple in May 1984 when he was 19. Over the years, he frequently called on the Apple co-founder for advice. Benioff credits his mentor with helping him find the right path.

For instance, in 2003, Benioff and a few members of his executive team went to talk to Jobs. Jobs told them they needed to build an ecosystem around their software.

Salesforce designed an ecosystem that it initially called the "app store," which basically let people buy apps and run them in Salesforce software. The company ended up renaming it "AppExchange." But Salesforce bought the App Store name (and URL) and trademarked it.

"I was in the audience when (Jobs) announced the App Store and I went up to him and I said, 'I have a gift for you. I'm going to give you the trademark and the URL for the help you gave me in 2003,'" Benioff told Bloomberg in an interview in August.

Benioff sent a letter to Salesforce.com employees Wednesday to express his sorrow over Jobs' death. He said: "There would not be a Salesforce.com without Steve Jobs." 

"Steve was the greatest leader our industry has ever known. He led our industry relentlessly for over three decades," Benioff wrote. "Steve has since given me incredible personal support, always cared for my problems, and Salesforce has directly benefited by a myriad of his ideas."

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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. Credit: Loic Le Meur

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