Salesforce CEO ‘humbled’ by company’s strong second quarter

26 Aug 2020

Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco. Image: © Sundry Photography/

Marc Benioff said it was ‘one of the best quarters in Salesforce history’ as revenue jumped 29pc.

Salesforce published its second-quarter earnings report yesterday (25 August), revealing a 29pc year-on-year increase in revenue.

Revenues for the San Francisco-based software firm totalled $5.15bn, with subscription and support revenues amounting to $4.84bn, and professional services revenue amounting to $0.31bn. The company’s CEO and chair, Marc Benioff, said the results represented “one of the best quarters in Salesforce’s history”.

“It’s humbling to have had one of the best quarters in Salesforce’s history against the backdrop of multiple crises seriously affecting our communities around the world,” Benioff said. “Salesforce was founded on our belief in stakeholder capitalism and our core values of trust, customer success, innovation and equality.

“Our success in the quarter brought all of this together with the power of our Customer 360 platform, the resilience of our business model, putting our customers first and doing our part to take care of all of our stakeholders. We know that together we have an opportunity to emerge from these times even stronger.”

Operations-generated cash at the company dropped by 2pc from the same period 2019, falling to $0.43bn. Total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at the end of the second quarter came to $9.28bn.

In light of its performance in the second quarter, Salesforce is raising its revenue and operating cash flow guidance for the full 2021 fiscal year. The company is expecting revenues in the third quarter of between $5.24bn and $5.25bn, which would be a 16pc increase on the same quarter last year. For the full year, it is expecting revenue of $20.7bn to $20.8bn, which would mark a 22pc increase on last year.

However, the company may have to contend with a lawsuit in Europe relating to GDPR and data collected in cookies. A class-action lawsuit was recently filed against Salesforce and Oracle by The Privacy Collective, a European non-profit claiming that both firms had unlawfully collected and processed the data of millions of internet users for real-time bidding ad auctions.

Salesforce is also one of a number of large tech companies to recently extend work-from-home policies as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Its premises will remain closed until “at least 31 July 2021”, it said last week, and staff will receive financial support to kit out their home offices with the necessary tools and equipment.

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021