Marc Benioff says ditching his iPhone and iPad on holiday helped him make a huge decision about Salesforce's future

Marc BenioffKimberly White / Stringer

  • Marc Benioff told CNBC that a digital detox while on holiday last year led him to appoint Keith Block as Salesforce's co-CEO.
  • Benioff said the strategy was "divide and conquer," and allowed him more time to focus on projects outside of Salesforce.
  • Benioff bought Time Magazine with his wife and championed a tech company tax to fight homelessness in San Francisco.

Marc Benioff had a two-week digital detox last year - and it had big implications for how Salesforce is run.

Before going on vacation across the Galapagos, Bora Bora, and Easter Island in July 2018, Benioff mailed his iPhone and iPad in an envelope to his summer residence in Hawaii.

In an interview with CNBC, Benioff said the peace afforded to him by ditching the tech meant he arrived at a significant conclusion that he was too busy.

"So I made a very good decision - to have two CEOs," Benioff told CNBC. He said that the extra time he would get by sharing the job would provide him with a "divide and conquer strategy."

Read more: Salesforce's CEO sets $20 billion sales target for 2022

In August, Salesforce hired COO Keith Block as its new co-CEO. CNBC reports that the move gave Benioff more time to focus on passion projects. A short time later in September, Benioff and his wife Lynne announced they were buying Time Magazine.

Benioff became embroiled in public life even more as he championed Proposition C, a San Francisco tax designed to take millions from tech firms in order to help alleviate the city's homelessness crisis. He publicly sparred with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the proposition, but ultimately emerged victorious as it passed.

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