Enterprise cloud company Salesforce.com, and its billionaire co-founder Marc Benioff, are on top of the world right now.
He just celebrated Salesforce.com’s 15-year anniversary; the company was named No. 7 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For 2014; revenues hit over $US4 billion; and it said on Friday it was leasing 700,000 square feet for a new Salesforce.com Tower in San Francisco to hire 1,000 more employees this year.
It currently employs about 13,000 worldwide, 4,000 in the Bay Area.
Although there’s some controversy about where the growth is coming from, and the $2.2 billion spent on sales and marketing instead of becoming profitable, Benioff is clearly staying in hyper-growth mode.
That growth doesn’t help the tech unrest going on San Francisco, but Benioff, a third-generation San Franciscan, has a plan for that, too. He recently launched SF Gives to raise $US10 million for antipoverty programs.
With its workforce scattered among buildings in San Francisco, Salesforce.com calls itself an “urban campus.”
Salesforce occupies a handful of buildings in San Francisco in an 'urban campus.' 50 Fremont St. isn't the official headquarters but it is one big hub. The lobby is modern but that's misleading ...
Salesforce.com's style is louder, brighter and Hawaiian, like this mural on elevator hall ceilings. Co-founder Marc Benioff owns a huge compound in Hawaii and signs his annual letter 'Aloha.'
Inside there's still plenty of artwork, like this ornate piece near a staircase in the human resources department.
Senior VP Monika Fahlbusch leads the 300-person HR team that occupies this whole floor. It's a big job, in a company with 13,000+ employees.
No one on Fahlbusch's team has an assigned desk. They have to move and mingle with different co-workers each day.
Instead, each team was given a decorating budget to create a themed office 'neighbourhood.' This is the Zen neighbourhood
With no desks or private offices, Fahlbusch bought all of her employees iPhones and Beats headphones. Plus she set up these soundproof phone booths.
The engineering team is located in another building a short walk away. Adam Seligman is an engineering exec who came from Microsoft. He's VP of developer relations.
This is Seligman's motto, which he proudly says differs from Facebook's 'Move fast and break things.' He'd rather be awesome, he says.
Seligman has a huge sense of humour. He leads a critical project called Salesforce1, which hosts mobile apps. He posted an April Fools' YouTube video featuring these adult onesies. (Salesforce1 = onesy, get it?) That's Seligman and BI's Julie Bort wearing the onesies, which were quite comfy.
The engineering room has low dropped ceilings and a cozy basement feel (developers seem to love basements). But walk outside ...
... With the most breathtaking views above the Bay. The rainy day doesn't do it justice. It was beautiful.
In another area is Alex Bard at his standing desk. He arrived in 2009 when Benioff bought his company, Assistly, for $US50 million.
Assistly became Desk.com, which Bard ran until recently. He was also leading Service Cloud, the company's second-biggest product. In February, he turned Desk.com (the company he founded) over to Leyla Seka to focus on Service Cloud. These shoes are his favourite Salesforce swag.
With $US2.2 billion spent on sales and marketing in 2013, Salesforce loves its swag. This pile in Bard's office includes a North Face jacket. Good stuff.
Bard works at a standing desk all day (which he says made him tired at first but now gives him energy). In his favourite conference room is his motto. It's more like a manifesto.
In this command center, they demo Salesforce's social media products and use them. If Salesforce answers your tweet, it came from here. That's Asma Stephan (left) and Anna Eschenburg, community and social media managers.
Benioff insists that Salesforce.com isn't traditional software. The company still has a lot of patents (just like other big software companies) and proudly displays them.
Here's a funny thing. As a city 'urban campus' there are no garages. People walk and take public transit. But garage door offices are a tech company trend now, so Salesforce built one inside.
They are used for everything from training to teaching urban kids to code. The company is known for its philanthropy.
Salesforce.com doesn't hire gourmet chefs and give employees free meals. There are plenty of great restaurants in San Francisco. But it still has cafes and free snacks everywhere. This is a juice bar.
This cafe has a retractable TV screen that slides up into the ceiling and is the spot for lots of parties.
One cool perk is the computer supply vending machine, where tech tools are free. We first saw one of these at Facebook.
... Employees can bring their dogs to work. They have to stay in the room with the dogs, but that's not a hardship except for ...
Out many windows you can see the new Salesforce tower being built to house even more employees and perks.
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