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Salesforce just hired ex-Microsoft exec Tony Prophet as its “chief equality officer,” just a few days after CEO Marc Benioff announced he was creating the position for the first time.
Prophet was most recently Microsoft’s VP of education marketing, overseeing the company’s efforts to reach more students. Before that, he led the company’s Windows marketing team for a little over a year.
But Prophet is perhaps better known as one of the first executives to join Microsoft after Satya Nadella was named its CEO in 2014. He spent more than 8 years at HP before being hired away by Nadella.
In his new role at Salesforce, Prophet will be in charge of the company’s initiatives in areas like diversity, equal pay, and inclusion. He will also help Benioff continue to be a leading voice in social activism. Prophet will report directly to Benioff.
“Tony will be an incredible addition to our leadership team as our first Chief Equality Officer. His experience as a leader in technology companies and his deep commitment to social issues make him the perfect fit for this key role,” Benioff said in a statement.
Prophet and Benioff have been friends for many years. They both share a mutual interest in philanthropy, and Prophet is a supporter of the new Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. Benioff also invited Prophet to Salesforce’s big annual conference, Dreamforce, in 2014 for a separate fireside chat.
Prophet’s hiring is also an interesting turn of events in the rivalry between Salesforce and Microsoft. The two companies have historically been bitter rivals in the cloud business software space, and despite a brief bromance period last year, Benioff recently hinted that the competition is back on.