Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff had a clever answer for why people thought he might sell out


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Bloomberg TV

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is a brilliant spin master when it comes to dealing with the press.


So when he was confronted with a question about previous reports of selling his $50 billion company, Benioff made sure to take advantage of it and turn it into another PR opportunity.

The question came from Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC's "Mad Money," who asked Benioff on his show Wednesday, "Why did people think that you wanted to be able to sell your company? Why did people think that?"

Benioff simply responded, "I think Salesforce is just such an attractive company because now you can see, next year in 2016, we're going to be the 4th largest software company in the world, behind only Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP."

It may sound like rhetoric, but Benioff has a point. Once a tiny startup with only a handful of employees, Salesforce has grown to become a $50 billion juggernaut with a projected annual revenue of $7 billion in less than 16 years.


All that by only focusing on CRM cloud software, as opposed to some of its bigger competitors who have a much broader portfolio. And even after all these years, Salesforce manages to keep a growth rate of around 30%, which shows it's still one of the faster growing tech companies out there.

"We've climbed through the hundreds of thousands of software companies from over 16 years ago, since we started...and we're still growing at an incredible rate," he added.

Granted, Salesforce is still a tiny fraction of the other giant software vendors Benioff mentioned. It's also still losing money, as the company continues to spend more than half of its revenue on sales and marketing.

But those efforts are showing up as increased market share in the CRM space: Salesforce owns more market share than any of its competitors now, according to its investor day slides:

Salesforce Oracle SAP


Salesforce's growth has been remarkable.