The company was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, together with Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a software as a service (SaaS) company. Two of Salesforce's earliest investors were Larry Ellison, the co-founder and first CEO of Oracle, and Halsey Minor, the founder of CNET.
Salesforce was severely affected by the dot-com bubble bursting at the beginning of the new millennium, with the company laying off 20% of its workforce. Despite its losses, Salesforce continued strong during the early 2000s. Salesforce also gained notability during this period for its tagline "the end of software", in which it also hired actors to hold up signs with its tagline outside a Siebel Systems conference. Salesforce's revenue continued to increase from 2000 to 2003, with 2003's revenue skyrocketing from $5.4 million in fiscal year 2001 to over $100 million by December 2003.
Also in 2003, Salesforce held its first annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. 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. In 2006, Salesforce launched IdeaExchange, a platform that allows customers to connect with company product managers.
In 2009, Salesforce passed $1 billion in annual revenue. Also in 2009, the company launched Service Cloud, an application that helps companies manage service conversations about their products and services.
In 2014, the company released Trailhead, a free online learning platform. In October 2014, Salesforce announced the development of its Customer Success Platform. In September 2016, Salesforce announced the launch of Einstein, an artificial intelligence platform that supports several of Salesforce's cloud services.
In 2019, Salesforce joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing energy giant and Standard Oil-descendant ExxonMobil. Salesforce's ascension to the Dow Jones was concurrent with that of Amgen and Honeywell. Because the Dow Jones factors its components by market price, Salesforce was the largest technology component of the index at its accession.
Across 2020 and 2021, Salesforce saw some notable leadership changes, 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. In February 2021, Amy Weaver, previously the chief legal officer, became CFO. Former CFO Mark Hawkins announced that he would be retiring in October. In November 2021, Bret Taylor was named vice chair and co-CEO of the company.
On December 1, 2020, it was announced that Salesforce would acquire Slack for $27.7 billion, its largest acquisition to date. The acquisition closed on July 21, 2021. Journalists covering the acquisition emphasized the price Salesforce paid for Slack, which is a 54% premium compared to Slack's market value, as too high of a premium for the company, with views varying from the premium being too concerning for investors to Salesforce playing the long game.
On August 24, 2022, Salesforce reported second quarter earnings of $7.72 billion. Upon the German software firm SAP reporting its earnings for the same quarter totaling to €7.52 Billion,[a] Acceleration Economy reported that Salesforce had surpassed SAP to become the world's largest enterprise software vendor. This mirrored Benioff's remarks in Salesforce's earnings call, where he stated he looked at "this quarter very much as kind of a milestone".
Salesforce announced a partnership with Meta Platforms in September 2022. The deal called that Meta's consumer application WhatsApp would integrate Salesforce's Customer 360 platform to allow consumers to directly communicate with companies.
In November 2022, Salesforce announced it would terminate employees in its sales organization. Protocol reported that the company would likely eliminate some 2500 jobs.
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west, and Essex to the north across the estuary of the River Thames; it faces the French department of Pas-de-Calais across the Strait of Dover. The county town is Maidstone. It is the fifth most populous county in England, the most populous non-Metropolitan county and the most populous of the home counties.
Kent was one of the first British territories to be settled by Germanic tribes, most notably the Jutes, following the withdrawal of the Romans. Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, the oldest cathedral in England, has been the seat of the Archbishops of Canterbury since the conversion of England to Christianity that began in the 6th century with Saint Augustine. Rochester Cathedral in Medway is England's second-oldest cathedral. Located between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates England from mainland Europe, Kent has been the setting for both conflict and diplomacy, including the Battle of Britain in World War II and the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history; the Cinque Ports in the 10th–14th centuries and Chatham Dockyard in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance. France can be seen clearly in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the Vale of Holmesdale in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles.
Kent's economy is greatly diversified: agriculture, haulage, logistics and tourism are major industries. Because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England". In northwest Kent, industries include extraction of aggregate building materials, printing and scientific research. Coal mining has also played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent make Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald.