'I don't think he ever sleeps': Marc Benioff's late-night messaging habit is legendary

Marc Benioff Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSalesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Salesforce’s cofounder and CEO Marc Benioff is known for a lot of things: his rise as a teenage programming prodigy; his first tech job at Apple under Steve Jobs; his rise at Oracle as the youngest exec under then-mentor Larry Ellison; his rise as a self-made billionaire; his flamboyant salesmanship coupled with an almost ruthless effort to promote philanthropy; and throwing his weight behind social causes like defeating discriminatory legislation.

But to his friends he’s known as something else: The man that doesn’t sleep.

“I don’t think he ever sleeps,” says one of his friends, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, to Forbes’ Alex Konrad.

For instance, Benioff loves the intersection of tech and health (he’s a major investor in Fitbit and never leaves home without his). One time, he took a test to discover the bacteria in his gut. He then devoured about two-dozen research papers and began blasting questions to his friend David Agus, the USC cancer researcher and doctor to the late Steve Jobs. “You’ll wake up early in the morning and there are ten texts from [him] during the night,” Agus told Konrad.

Benioff himself will warn new friends and colleagues about his habit. His tool of choice is often Twitter’s direct message function. “Beware of late-night tweeting,” he told Forbes’ Konrad and then spent weeks sending the reporter late-night pictures with friends, with President Obama, with singer Stevie Wonder.

He’s not the only one. Successful CEOs often say they tend skimp on sleep, though many others, including Benioff’s frenemy Satya Nadella, manage to get seven hours a night.

Read Konrad’s full profile of Benioff here.

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