GLAAD will honor Marc Benioff, chairman
and CEO of Salesforce, at its upcoming gala in San Francisco, the
group announced on Tuesday.
At the September 8 event, Benioff will
be presented with GLAAD's Ric Weiland Award, which honors an
innovator in tech and new media and is named after philanthropist and
software pioneer Ric Weiland. One of the first five employees at
Microsoft, Weiland took his own life in 2006.
Benioff has been a leading voice in the
corporate world against state laws that target the LGBT community,
speaking out against bills and laws in North Carolina, Mississippi,
Georgia and Indiana.
“All I want is to live in a great
nation, which I do,” Benioff said of his activism during an
interview on CNN. “And I want, as part of that nation, to have
equality for all and that's especially important for our customers
“Marc Benioff is an innovator not
just in technology and business, but also in his advocacy to advance
acceptance for the LGBT community,” GLAAD President & CEO Sarah
Kate Ellis said in a statement. “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.”
Recode executive editor Kara Swisher
will present Benioff with the award. Hosting the
event will by Aisha Tyler.