The 10-Year Timeline

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An organization, of course, is more than the sum of its actions—but Salesforce.com, in particular, is a company that likes to make moves: dozens of upgrades, scores of announcements and preannouncements, hundreds of partnerships, thousands of downloads, millions of subscribers, billions of dollars.

That’s a lot of action.

We can’t possibly do justice to the full decade of Salesforce.com’s activity, but we’ve attempted to capture its key moments and convey a sense of its evolution. 

The chart below may help encapsulate that evolution: Salesforce.com’s annual revenue (what customers thought it was worth) mapped against its market capitalization (what investors thought it was worth). The market figures only begin in 2004, of course, after the company had its initial public offering—and the trappings of a public company include regulations that require Salesforce.com to reveal the equity stake of its officers, including Marc Benioff, its cofounder, chairman, and chief executive officer.

We’ve included that here for purely anecdotal interest: Benioff’s holdings may have dropped in the last five years from about 30 percent of the company to about 10 percent, but the company’s (mostly) rising market value has kept him flush—enough to warrant his first-ever inclusion on this year’s Forbes 400 list of richest Americans (even if his Salesforce.com stock no longer represents the bulk of that wealth).

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For the rest of the November 2009 issue of CRM magazine — a look back at the first 10 years of Salesforce.com — please click here.

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