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Salesforce CEO to Cramer: What drives our success

With "Mad Money" in San Francisco this week, Jim Cramer thought it important to touch base with a company that is in the epicenter of one of the most important technology trends of the era—Salesforce.com's cloud innovation.

Not only is the stock up more than tenfold since Cramer first spoke with its CEO Marc Benioff in 2008, but it was also the fastest enterprise software company to reach $5 billion in annual sales.

"I bet it keeps growing like crazy," the "Mad Money" host said.

To find out what the secret ingredient to the success of Salesforce has been, Cramer sat down with Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff.

He explained that many executives are told all of the time to only think about shareholders and earnings per share.

"The reality is, if that's all I focused on, my company would be a disaster. The reason my company is successful is because I am focused on my stakeholders, not my shareholders," Benioff said.





Marc Benioff
Tim Mosenfelder | Getty Images
Marc Benioff

He went on to add that he subscribes to stakeholder theory, and there are a lot of important stakeholders driving a company. This includes employees, customers, partners, the community, the environment around you and many others.

"To really think and be successful as a CEO today you need to think in a multi-stakeholder framework, and that is what's important, and that is really what drives me every single day," Benioff added.

Benioff also applied the stakeholder approach when he chose to speak out publicly against Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act earlier this year. Salesforce previously acquired Indiana-based ExactTarget, which made Salesforce the largest technology employer in Indiana.

The CEO understood that he now held stakeholders within the state of Indiana, thus all of Indiana's issues became his issues.

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"My number one stakeholders are my employees; I have to do what's right for my employees. I have to advocate for them on their behalf. I have to be their spokesperson; I have to be the tip of the spear," Benioff added.

Ultimately through the collaboration of Salesforce, along with various other CEOs, the law was amended. The CEO attributed his need to advocate for employees to his approach of speaking the truth.

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