Where Will Salesforce Be in 5 Years?
Salesforce's (NYSE:CRM) stock has tripled over the past five years as it's impressed investors with its robust revenue growth and stabilizing profits. But can the cloud services company replicate those gains over the next five years? Let's take a closer look at its long-term tailwinds to find out.
Maintaining its lead in the CRM market
Salesforce controlled 19.8% of the global customer relationship management (CRM) market in the first half of 2020, according to IDC. The firm has named Salesforce the market leader for seven straight years.
Salesforce's four closest rivals -- SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Adobe -- held a combined share of just 17.8% in the first half of 2020. It's doubtful those rivals will catch up to Salesforce within the next five years.
Image source: Getty Images.
The global CRM market, which was valued at $40.2 billion in 2019, could continue expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2% from 2020 to 2027, according to Grand View Research. If Salesforce matches that growth rate, its annual revenue could more than double from $21.1 billion in fiscal 2021 (which ends this month) to over $53 billion in fiscal 2028.
$50 billion in revenue by fiscal 2026
Salesforce's own estimates outpace that forecast. At its investor day presentation in December, management estimated the company would generate over $50 billion in annual revenue in fiscal 2026 -- which would represent a CAGR of 19% between fiscal 2021 and 2026.
It expects Slack (NYSE:WORK), the enterprise communication company it recently agreed to acquire in a $27.7 billion deal, to grow at a CAGR of 38% between fiscal 2022 and 2026 and generate $4 billion in annual revenue in the final year. It expects its core business, which includes its CRM platform and other cloud services, to grow at a CAGR of 17% during that period.
Salesforce's stock already looks cheaper than those of many other high-growth cloud stocks at eight times next year's sales. However, its revenue estimates for 2026 indicate the stock could easily double within the next five years while maintaining the same price-to-sales ratio.
Growth across its core markets
Salesforce expects the total addressable market (TAM) of its entire portfolio of services to grow at a CAGR of 11% between fiscal 2021 and 2025 into a $175 billion market. Here's the breakdown of that forecast by sector:
Fiscal 2021 TAM
Fiscal 2025 TAM
Marketing & Commerce
Analytics & Integration
Source: Salesforce investor day presentation.
In sales, Salesforce expects demand for streamlined sales teams and end-to-end solutions for pricing, billing, and order management services to continue rising. In services, it expects more businesses to use omnichannel tools like chatbots, voice, and messaging services to serve customers.
In marketing and commerce, Salesforce expects the accelerating growth of the e-commerce and fintech markets to drive demand for its services. For its main platform, it expects automation and simpler coding systems to support its long-term growth. In analytics and integration, it expects more businesses to crunch cloud-based data to make data-driven business decisions.
In other words, Salesforce expects the tailwinds that drove its growth over the past five years to continue for the foreseeable future. It will likely buy and integrate smaller companies, as it did with MuleSoft, Tableau, and Slack over the past three years, to increase its exposure to those growing markets.
Prioritizing revenue growth over profits
Salesforce's GAAP and non-GAAP profits improved significantly over the past five years.
Source: Salesforce. *Includes benefits from a new accounting standard.
Salesforce's profits stabilized as its scale improved, which evened out its infrastructure expenses and reduced its costs of acquiring new customers. Salesforce expects its non-GAAP earnings to grow 55% in fiscal 2021.
But next year, analysts expect Salesforce's non-GAAP earnings to decline 25% as it ramps up its ecosystem investments and integrates Slack's unprofitable business.
Salesforce's earnings growth could remain bumpy over the next five years as it prioritizes revenue growth and the expansion of its ecosystem over its short-term margins. However, that's a smart strategy for a growing cloud services company, and could help it maintain its lead in the CRM market while expanding the reach of its marketing, e-commerce, and analytics services.
Where will Salesforce be in five years?
Salesforce's stock remains cheap relative to its growth, and it's riding high on several secular growth trends. I believe Salesforce's stock could double or triple within the next five years as more businesses deploy its services to streamline their operations, tether more services to the cloud, automate repetitive tasks, and reduce their overall dependence on human employees. Salesforce might not be as exciting as some younger tech stocks, but it should deliver much more reliable returns.
Salesforce growth accelerates as company offers strong guidance for coming fiscal year
Salesforce shares rose 5% in extended trading on Thursday after the cloud software maker issued earnings and guidance that surpassed analysts' expectations.
Here's how the company did:
- Earnings: $1.21 per share, adjusted, vs. 88 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
- Revenue: $5.96 billion, vs. $5.89 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
Revenue grew 23% year over year in the fiscal first quarter, which ended April 30, the company said in a statement. In the previous quarter revenue increased by 20%.
The company will hold its major Dreamforce conference in person in San Francisco as well as in New York, Paris and London, CEO Marc Benioff said on a conference call with analysts. All attendees will have to be fully vaccinated, Benioff said. Salesforce held Dreamforce virtually in 2020 to reduce spread of the coronavirus.
The Platform and Other segment that includes the MuleSoft and Tableau products, currently Salesforce's top segment for subscription and support revenue, contributed $1.75 billion in revenue, up 28%.
Salesforce's core Sales Cloud product that salespeople use to track business opportunities delivered $1.39 billion in revenue, up 11%.
While different parts of the world have reopened their economies to varying degrees, there wasn't a single area that was slower than others in the quarter, said Gavin Patterson, Salesforce's chief revenue officer.
With respect to guidance, Salesforce said it sees 91 cents to 92 cents in adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings per share on $6.22 billion to $6.23 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had been looking for 86 cents in adjusted earnings per share and $6.15 billion in revenue.
Salesforce called for $3.79 to $3.81 in adjusted earnings per share in the full 2022 fiscal year, with $25.9 billion to $26.0 billion in revenue, or 22% growth. Consensus among analysts polled by Refinitiv was $3.43 in adjusted earnings per share and $25.76 billion in revenue.
The expected full-year adjusted operating margin widened to 18% from 17.7% as revenue guidance increased by $250 million at the middle of the range. "Our decision to raise fiscal 2022 revenue is reflective of our Q1 performance and our confidence in our ability to execute for the rest of the year," said Amy Weaver, the company's finance chief.
The guidance takes into account the assumption that some travel will return, but not anywhere near pre-pandemic levels, Weaver said.
"We've simply learned how to work effectively and how to serve our customers effectively without being on a plane every day," she said.
The full-year guidance includes a contribution of $500 million in revenue from team communication software app Slack, a $27.7 billion acquisition expected to close right at the conclusion of the quarter that ends on July 31. That expected contribution is $100 million lower than Salesforce had predicted in February, because the company has updated its forecast on when the deal will close. The guidance also includes $190 million in revenue from Acumen Solutions, a professional-services company Salesforce acquired in the fiscal first quarter.
Notwithstanding the after-hours move, Salesforce stock is up less than 2% since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 index has risen almost 12% over the same period.
Morgan Stanley analysts upgraded their rating on Salesforce stock to the equivalent of buy from the equivalent of hold earlier this month. "While concerns on M&A appetite and durable margin expansion may linger, leading franchises do not stay cheap for long, particularly amidst the strong demand backdrop we foresee over the next several years," they wrote.
WATCH:Jim Cramer on Nvidia, Salesforce and Williams-Sonoma
Salesforce shares jump on increased revenue forecast for this year and company's optimism on profit
Salesforce shares rose 7% on Thursday after the cloud software company boosted its revenue forecast for the current fiscal year and provided an outlook for next year that exceeded analysts' estimates.
Revenue for fiscal 2022, which ends in January, will be as high as $26.35 billion, up from a previous prediction for up to $26.3 billion, Salesforce said in a statement. For the following year, Salesforce expects $31.65 billion to $31.80 billion, topping the average estimate of $31.47 billion, according to analysts polled by Refinitiv.
The new outlook coincides with Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference, which is mostly virtual due to the pandemic, but includes limited in-person sessions in San Francisco. Salesforce CFO Amy Weaver told analysts in a session tied to the conference that the acquisition of Slack, which closed in July, is providing a boost in multiples ways.
In addition to contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to annual revenue, Slack's communications tools are helping the company in its bid to operate a more remote workforce, cut back on travel and be more disciplined on spending.
"It's the new world," Weaver said. "We're not going back. We can sell effectively without going on a plane everyday." Salesforce's revenue chief, Gavin Peterson, said last month that sales representatives are beginning to sell products through Slack.
Salesforce told analysts in August that the Slack deal will negatively impact its adjusted operating margin. However, the company said on Thursday that its adjusted operating margin for 2023 will be about 20%, wider than the 19.2% consensus among analysts polled by StreetAccount. Strong revenue performance gives the company some room on operating margin, Weaver said.
"We believe this guidance should be well-received in the context of Salesforce digesting Slack and continuing to deliver ~20% top-line growth," analysts at Stifel, which has a buy rating on Salesforce stock, wrote in a note to clients.
Salesforce rose 6.3% to $275.59 as of mid-day on Thursday. The stock is up about 24% this year.
WATCH:Salesforce CEO on new partnerships
|Fiscal year is February-January. All values USD Millions.||2021||2020||2019||2018||2017||5-year trend|
|Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) incl. D&A||6,955||5,463||4,420||3,486||2,334|
|COGS excluding D&A||4,218||3,340||2,825||2,234||1,702|
|Depreciation & Amortization Expense||2,737||2,123||1,595||1,252||632|
|Amortization of Intangibles||1,100||792||447||287||309|
|Amortization of Deferred Charges||1,058||876||737||592||-|
|Gross Income Growth||22.88%||31.29%||25.63%||16.44%||-|
|Gross Profit Margin||67.27%||-||-||-||-|
|Research & Development||3,598||2,766||1,886||1,553||1,208|
|Other Operating Expense||-||-||-||-||-|
|Non Operating Income/Expense||2,232||432||507||1||117|
|Non-Operating Interest Income||-||117||61||37||22|
|Equity in Affiliates (Pretax)||-||-||-||-||-|
|Interest Expense Growth||-3.82%||-14.94%||77.01%||-2.23%||-|
|Gross Interest Expense||126||131||154||87||89|
|Pretax Income Growth||262.75%||-28.18%||134.05%||1554.65%||-|
|Income Tax - Current Domestic||291||545||39||(5)||5|
|Income Tax - Current Foreign||(12)||8||117||85||72|
|Income Tax - Deferred Domestic||294||(33)||(285)||(16)||(219)|
|Income Tax - Deferred Foreign||(2,084)||60||2||(4)||(12)|
|Income Tax Credits||-||-||-||-||-|
|Equity in Affiliates||-||-||-||-||-|
|Other After Tax Income (Expense)||-||-||-||-||-|
|Consolidated Net Income||4,072||126||1,110||360||180|
|Minority Interest Expense||-||-||-||-||-|
|Net Income Growth||3131.75%||-88.65%||208.33%||100.41%||-|
|Extraordinaries & Discontinued Operations||-||-||-||-||-|
|Extra Items & Gain/Loss Sale Of Assets||-||-||-||-||-|
|Cumulative Effect - Accounting Chg||-||-||-||-||-|
|Net Income After Extraordinaries||4,072||126||1,110||360||180|
|Net Income Available to Common||4,072||126||1,110||360||180|
|EPS (Basic) Growth||2854.45%||-89.64%||191.84%||88.46%||-|
|Basic Shares Outstanding||908||829||751||715||688|
|EPS (Diluted) Growth||2853.75%||-89.65%||192.42%||90.93%||-|
|Diluted Shares Outstanding||930||850||775||735||700|
Revenue salesforce yearly
American software company
Salesforce is an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It provides customer relationship management (CRM) service and also provides a complementary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.
In 2021, Fortune magazine ranked Salesforce second on its list, "100 Best Companies to Work For," based on an employee survey of satisfaction.
The company was founded on February 3, 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, together with Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a software as a service (SaaS) company, and was launched publicly between September and November 1999.
In June 2004, the company had its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol CRM and raised US$110 million. Early investors include Larry Ellison, Magdalena Yesil, Halsey Minor, Stewart Henderson, Mark Iscaro, and Igor Sill, a founding member of Geneva Venture Partners.
In October 2014, Salesforce announced the development of its Customer Success Platform to tie together Salesforce's services, including sales, service, marketing, analytics, community, and mobile apps. In October 2017, Salesforce launched a Facebook Analytics tool for business-to-business marketers. In September 2018, Salesforce partnered with Apple intended on improving apps for businesses.
In February 2020, co-chief executive officer Keith Block stepped down from his position in the company. Marc Benioff remained as chairman and chief executive officer.
On December 1, 2020, it was announced that Salesforce would acquire Slack for $27.7 billion. The acquisition closed on July 21.
In February 2021, Salesforce announced that CFO Mark Hawkins would be retiring from his position after six years of working for the company; however, retaining a position as CFO emeritus until October. Amy Weaver was selected as his replacement.
Salesforce.com's customer relationship management (CRM) service comprises several broad categories: Commerce Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Data Cloud (including Jigsaw), Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud (including Chatter), Manufacturing Cloud, Analytics Cloud, App Cloud, Vaccine Cloud, IoT and Work.com with over 100,000 customers.
Salesforce's main services are tools for case, task and issue management. It also gives customers tracking abilities for their raised cases and conversation features for social networking Web sites, provides analytical tools and other services including email alert, Google search, and access to customers' entitlement and contracts. They also partner with companies like IBM, Accenture, and Saggezza to help integrate Salesforce's cloud-based services into their businesses.
Lightning Platform (also known as Force.com) is a platform as a service (PaaS) that allows developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main Salesforce.com application.[failed verification] These third-party applications are hosted on Salesforce.com's infrastructure.
Force.com applications are built using declarative tools, backed by Lightning[further explanation needed] and Apex (Application Express), a proprietary Java-like programming language for Force.com, as well as Visualforce, a framework including an XML syntax typically used to generate HTML. The Force.com platform typically receives three complete releases a year. As the platform is provided as a service to its developers, every single development instance also receives all these updates.
As of 2013, the Force.com platform has 1.4 million registered developers.
Lightning Base Components is the component library built on top of Lightning Web Components.
Experience Cloud (formerly Community Cloud) provides Salesforce customers the ability to create online web properties for external collaboration, customer service, channel sales, and other custom portals in their instance of Salesforce. Tightly integrated to Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and App Cloud, Experience Cloud can be quickly customized to provide a wide variety of web properties. Experience Cloud combines the functionality of the former Salesforce Customer and Partner Portals with some additional features.
Work.com, previously Rypple, is a social performance management platform that helps managers and employees improve work performance through continuous coaching, real-time feedback, and recognition. It is marketed as a solution for sales performance, customer service, marketing, and as a service that can be employed by human resource departments.
Work.com, then known as "Rypple", was founded by Daniel Debow and David Stein, to create a simple way of asking for feedback anonymously at work. The company was formed in May 2008 and their client list included Mozilla, Facebook, LinkedIn and the Gilt Groupe. Rypple "'reverses the onus on the demand for more feedback' by getting employees to build and manage their own coaching networks".
In September 2011, Rypple announced that they had hired Bohdan Zabawskyj as its Chief Technology Officer. In 2011, Rypple developed a more formalized management methodology called OKR ("Objectives and Key Results") for Spotify. Rypple also partnered with Facebook to create "Loops", short for "feedback loops", which gathers feedback from co-workers, "thank you's", progress against goals, and coaching from supervisors into one channel for a "rich, robust, continuous performance review".
In December 2011, Salesforce.com announced that they would acquire Rypple. The transaction was completed in 2012 and Rypple was rebranded as Work.com in September 2012.
Launched in 2005, the Salesforce AppExchange is an online application marketplace for third-party applications that run on the Force.com platform. Applications are available for free, as well as via yearly or monthly subscription models. Applications available range from integrations with SharePoint to mobile approval management. As of June 2016, it features 2,948 applications which have driven 3+ million installs. The "AppExchange" is also a place customers can search for cloud consulting partners to help them implement the technology in their own organization. Cloud consulting partners for Salesforce include large companies like IBM's "Bluewolf" and Accenture as well as smaller ones like Cloudreach.
Launched in 2019, Salesforce's myTrailhead is an online training platform that can be customized for the specific needs of its customers. The platform extends functionality to provide users with training content specific to their usage of Salesforce and enables them to create and publish their own training content and programs.
In May 2019 Salesforce launched a blockchain platform based on Hyperledger Sawtooth, to facilitate building blockchain network and apps integrated with CRM.
Retired or end-of-life
Data.com, previously known as Jigsaw, was a cloud-based system for acquiring and managing CRM records within a user's Salesforce.com account. It was also an online business directory of companies and business professionals that is built, maintained and accessed by a worldwide community of over a million subscribers., The information consisted of what is commonly found on a business card.
Competitors included services such as Dun & Bradstreet/Avention and ZoomInfo.
Data.com was made up of three products: Data.com Connect, Data.com Clean and Data.com Prospector. In April 2018, Salesforce announced it would retire Data.com Connect on May 4, 2019. Salesforce also announced it will wind down Data.com Clean and Data.com Prospector, and these services will close on July 31, 2020.
Desk.com is a SaaShelp desk and customer support product accessible through the cloud. Desk.com is owned by Salesforce.com and was previously known as Assistly. Desk.com is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
After being acquired by Salesforce.com for $50 million in 2011 Assistly was re-branded as Desk.com in 2012 as a customer supportsoftware. Desk.com is a SaaS customer service application. The product differentiates itself from Salesforce's other service platform by specifically targets small businesses. It integrates with a variety of products and third-party applications including Salesforce CRM, Salesforce IQ, Atlassian JIRA, Mailchimp and other apps. Desk.com also supports up to 50 languages.
Salesforce announced the retirement of Desk.com, replacing it with Service Cloud Lightning. After March 13, 2018 no new desk.com licenses were sold, and the retirement date was announced as March 13, 2020.
Do.com was a cloud-based task management system for small groups and businesses, introduced in 2011 and discontinued in 2014. Salesforce did not offer any reason for shutting down the service, however, it provided an Export tool to save data entered within the Do.com interface. The Do.com domain was sold to a startup in 2014.
Salesforce users can configure their CRM application. In the system, there are tabs such as "Contacts," "Reports," and "Accounts." Each tab contains associated information. Configuration can be done on each tab by adding user-defined custom fields.
Configuration can also be done at the "platform" level by adding configured applications to a Salesforce instance, that is adding sets of customized / novel tabs for specific vertical- or function-level (Finance, Human Resources, etc.) features.
In addition to the web interface, Salesforce offers a SOAP/RESTWeb serviceapplication programming interface (API) that enables integration with other systems.
Salesforce is powered by the Model–view–controller architecture.
Apex is a proprietary programming language provided by the Force.com platform to developers similar to Java and C#. It is a strongly typed, object-oriented, case-insensitive programming language, following a dot-notation and curly-brackets syntax. Apex can be used to execute programmed functions during most processes on the Force.com platform including custom buttons and links, event handlers on record insertion, update, or deletion, via scheduling, or via the custom controllers of Visualforce or Lightning Experience pages.
Due to the multitenant nature of the platform, the language has strictly imposed governor limitations to guard against any code monopolizing shared resources. Salesforce provides a series of asynchronous processing methods for Apex to allow developers to produce longer-running and more complex Apex code.
In 2014, Salesforce made public the front end of its platform, called Lightning. This component-based framework is what the Salesforce mobile app is built on. Salesforce built on this framework in 2015 by releasing the Lightning Design System, an HTML style framework with default CSS styling built in. This framework allows customers to build their own components to either use in their internal instances or sell on the AppExchange.
The Salesforce Lightning App Builder is a tool for rapid application development of responsive web interfaces. This interface allows for different screens to be put together based on Lightning components. This can be used as layouts for records or specific applications.
Lightning Experience, released in 2016, is the new redesigned interface in Salesforce for processes enhancement. Since then all the apps available on AppExchange need to be Lightning and those built on Classic have to migrate to Lightning as Classic is not to be updated any more by Salesforce. The platform offers an option for developers to employ migration techniques to enable the new user friendly interface and switch to Lightning.
Salesforce is headquartered in San Francisco, with regional headquarters in Morges, Switzerland (covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Singapore), India (covering Asia Pacific minus Japan), and Tokyo (covering Japan). Other major offices are in Toronto, Chicago, New York City, London, Sydney, Dublin, Hyderabad, Vancouver, San Mateo, California, Indianapolis, and Hillsboro, Oregon. Salesforce.com has its services translated into 16 different languages and as of July 31, 2011, had 104,000 customers and over 2.1 million subscribers. Salesforce moved its Midwest Regional headquarters to Indianapolis in 2017.
Standard & Poor's included Salesforce, at the same time as Fastenal, into the S&P 500 Index in September 2008, following the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their removal from the index.
- Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, co-founder of the company (1999– )
- Parker Harris, Co-Founder, oversees product strategy (1999– )
- Bret Taylor, President, Chief Product Officer (2017– )
- Suzanne DiBianca, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Chief Philanthropy Officer (2000– ) Chief Communications Officer (2017– )
- Mark Hawkins, President and Chief Financial Officer (2014– )
- Elizabeth Pinkham, Executive Vice President, Global Real Estate (2000–)
- Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer (2016– )
- Stephanie Buscemi, Chief Marketing Officer (2018– )
- Cindy Robbins, President and Chief People Officer (2006–2019)
- Amy Weaver, President, Legal and General Counsel (2013– )
Salesforce was credited to have a strong corporate culture and its HR practices were said to have been a huge driving force behind its success story. Its corporate culture is based on the concept of Ohana, a deep-rooted support system nurtured inside the company. The culture emphasized certain core values, behaviors, and experiences. The leaders at the company believed that its culture fostered dialogue, collaboration, recognition, and a sense of family, and helped its employees drive the company’s purpose, vision, and impact.
However, in the aftermath of a 2021 world-wide outage of all their services, in an uncharacteristic move, Salesforce chief availability officer Darryn Dieken placed the blame on an individual engineer stating, "We have taken action with that particular employee." The same year, another executive, Cynthia Perry, resigned over discrimination in the workplace.
On September 10, 2021, Benioff tweeted that the company is prepared to help any employee who wishes to move out of the state of Texas, following the abortion in Texas legislation announced on September 1, 2021.
For the fiscal year 2019, Salesforce reported revenue of US$13.28 billion, an increase of 26% year-over-year and 26% in constant currency. The CRM giant reported subscription and support revenues of US$12.41 billion, an increase of 27% year-over-year. Salesforce ranked 240 on the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States companies by revenue.
|Price per Share|
Salesforce migrated to Dell servers with Advanced Micro Devices processors running Linux from Sun Fire E25K servers with SPARC processors running Solaris in 2008. The company uses the Momentum platform from Message Systems to allow its customers to send large amounts of email.
In 2012, Salesforce announced plans to build a data center in the UK to handle European citizens' personal data. In 2013, Salesforce and Oracle announced a nine-year partnership in which Salesforce will use Oracle Linux, Oracle Exadata, Oracle Database, and the Java platform to power its applications and SaaS platform.
In 2016, Salesforce announced that it will use Amazon Web Services hosting for countries with restrictive data residency requirements and where no Salesforce data centers are operating. In July 2017, the first such instance went live in Canada, with Salesforce announcing that this enabled signing a number of Canadian customers.
The following is a list of acquisitions by Salesforce:
Subject to a phishing attack
In November 2007 a successful phishing attack on a Salesforce employee compromised contact information on a number of Salesforce customers, which was then used to send highly targeted phishing emails. Salesforce has stated that "a phisher tricked someone into disclosing a password, but this intrusion did not stem from a security flaw in [the salesforce.com] application or database." The phishing breach was cited as an example of why the CRM industry needs greater security for users against such threats as spam.
While the crowd-sourced method of building business contacts has proven popular with recruiters, marketers, and sales professionals, it has also raised questions of privacy as most of the site's database is entered without permission from the person being listed. Data.com does, however, make it easy to remove business information on request as noted in December 2009 by TechCrunch. However, recipients of these messages regard it as spam and at least one complaint about receiving more spam after attempting to remove one's address has been noted.
Attempt to trademark Social enterprise
In July 2012, Salesforce applied to trademark the term "social enterprise" in the United States, the European Union and Jamaica where the term was in widespread use to describe businesses with a primarily social purpose. This was successfully challenged by a campaign called #notinourname which was launched by Social Enterprise UK, resulting in Salesforce.com withdrawing their trademark application and agreeing not to use the term in their future marketing.
‘Meatpistol’ presenters let go at Def Con
In 2017 at DEF CON, Salesforce's Director of Offensive Security and a security engineer were fired on the conference room floor in front of several other attendees by an executive at the company after giving a talk. Word rapidly spread that two speakers had been released at the event. The presentation was initially signed off on by the company; however, Salesforce's management team had an unexplained and sudden change of heart an hour before the event. Salesforce's Director of Offensive Security had turned off his phone prior to the presentation and was unable to receive any communication from Salesforce prior to the presentation. Reaction after the firings were swift, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation providing representation to the fired employees and members of the security community opining "Salesforce undermined their credibility in the security community to a significant degree" and that "how they are perceived by the security community isn't top of their list of things they care about." The presented MEATPISTOL tool was anticipated to be released as open-source at the time of the presentation, but Salesforce continues to hold back on releasing any of the code to developers or the public. The terminated employees have continued to call on the company to open-source the software.
RAICES donation refusal
The not-for-profit organization Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) rejected a US$250,000 philanthropic donation from Salesforce because the company has contracts with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The executive director of Raices, Jonathan Ryan, tweeted that "When it comes to supporting oppressive, inhumane, and illegal policies, we want to be clear: the only right action is to stop" in reference to the rejected donation. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff responded in an official statement that the company's employees "don't work with CBP regarding separation of families. CBP is a customer & follows our TOS. We don't have an agreement with ICE. I'm Proud of the Men & Women who protect & serve our country every day & I'm Proud of our Ohana."
It was reported that, in a change to its acceptable-use policy, Salesforce is barring customers from using its system to sell semiautomatic guns and other firearms.
In December 2019, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that Salesforce was one of 91 companies who "paid an effective federal tax rate of 0% or less" in 2018, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Their findings were published in a report based on the 379 Fortune 500 companies that declared a profit in 2018.
In March 2019 Salesforce faced a lawsuit by 50 anonymous women claiming to be victims and survivors of sex trafficking, abuse and rape, which alleges the company profited from and knowingly facilitated sex trafficking on the Web site Backpage.com (defunct since April 2018). The lawsuit also pointed out that Salesforce was publicly promoting an anti-human trafficking campaign at the time of its work with Backpage.
In 2009, in response to the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the resulting decline in venture funding, Salesforce began investing in digital companies that used or integrated Salesforce platform. This eventually became Salesforce Ventures, headed by John Somorjai Since then various funds have been created to focus on specific areas — in September 2014 SFV set up Salesforce1 Fund, aimed at start-ups creating applications primarily for mobile phones. In December 2018, Salesforce Ventures announced the launch of the Japan Trailblazer Fund, focused on Japanese startups.
As of August 2018, Salesforce Ventures reported investments totaling $1.2 billion in 275 companies covering a wide range of business models, including e-commerce (CloudCraze),artificial intelligence (Figure Eight), online fraud prevention (Forter), Accounting and Professional Services Automation software (FinancialForce) and many other areas. Its five largest investments Domo (data-visualization software), SurveyMonkey (online survey software), Twilio (cloud-communication), Dropbox (cloud storage), and DocuSign (secure e-signature company) account for nearly half of its portfolio.
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