Marc Benioff to be honored at GLAAD Gala San Francisco

Salesforce Chairman & CEO to receive Ric Weiland Award
July 26, 2016

Seth Adam
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

San Francisco – GLAAD, the world’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced that it will honor Salesforce Chairman & CEO Marc Benioff at GLAAD Gala San Francisco at City View at Metreon on September 8, 2016.

Benioff will receive the Ric Weiland Award, which honors innovators who advance LGBT equality and acceptance through tech and new media. The award is named after Ric Weiland, who was a computer software pioneer and philanthropist. Together with his surviving partner Mike Schaefer, Weiland is known for his dedication to LGBT and HIV and AIDS organizations. Recode executive editor Kara Swisher will present Benioff with the award.

GLAAD Gala San Francisco is made possible with the support of presenting partners Ketel One Vodka and Wells Fargo with Official Airline Delta Air Lines. The event will feature a special performance by recording artist Halsey and will be hosted by talk show host, actress, comedian, author, producer, writer, and director Aisha Tyler. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

A pioneer of cloud computing, Benioff founded Salesforce in 1999 with a vision to create a new kind of enterprise software company, with a technology model based in the cloud, a pay-as-you-go business model and an integrated corporate philanthropy model. Under his leadership, Salesforce has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a Fortune 500 company, the fastest-growing top ten software company and the world's largest customer relationship management company. Benioff has been named one of the 50 World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune, Businessperson of the Year by Fortune readers, received The Economist’s Innovation Award and is a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees.

Benioff is also a loyal defender of LGBT equality, taking a highly visible stand on behalf of Salesforce employees across the U.S. against discriminatory laws targeting LGBT people. In 2015, Benioff made international headlines as one of the first business leaders to speak out against a law in Indiana that would have allowed businesses to deny services to LGBT people. After Benioff and other business leaders vowed to reduce business investment in Indiana due to the discriminatory legislation, the law was amended to explicitly prohibit businesses from turning away LGBT people. Benioff repeated his strong stand against discriminatory legislation earlier this year in Georgia and North Carolina. Benioff has also promoted gender equality, instituting a company-wide salary assessment at Salesforce to ensure men and women were being paid equally for comparable work, and encouraging other CEOs to do the same.

“Marc Benioff is an innovator not just in technology and business, but also in his advocacy to advance acceptance for the LGBT community,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “He is at the forefront of the corporate movement to stop discriminatory anti-LGBT bills across the country and his commitment to fairness and equality is steadfast.”

GLAAD Gala San Francisco honors innovators in the Bay Area who advance LGBT acceptance through tech and new media and also funds GLAAD’s advocacy work to rewrite the script to accelerate acceptance.

To receive the latest updates on GLAAD Gala San Francisco, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadgala.

For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets, and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit