It’s no secret that diversity remains one of the tech industry’s biggest internal problems. Salesforce seems to have taken the message to heart, as they just hired Tony Prophet as their first Chief Equality Officer, reports Business Insider. In this role, Prophet will be responsible for the development of initiatives that pursue a more diverse workforce and equal pay.
Many tech companies acknowledge that diversity is “good”, yet few actually act accordingly. Diversity isn’t just a luxury, it has been shown that more diverse teams build better products. A homogenous group might build something fantastic, but it’s only solving problems that similar minds are thinking of. When people of many different backgrounds come together, however, problems can be approached from multiple angles. The result? Something appealing to a wider group of people.
Prophet was formerly a Vice President at Microsoft. As VP of education marketing, Prophet led the charge to get Microsoft in front of more students. That knack for outreach will clearly do him well in his new role with the cloud computing company. Notably, Prophet was one of the first executives to come on board after Satya Nadella was made current CEO in 2014.
Prophet will be reporting to close friend and CEO Marc Benioff. Prophet has supported Benioff’s charitable initiatives in the past, specifically San Francisco’s Benioff Children’s hospital.
Business Insider notes that this is a bit of an interesting hire given the rivalry between the two companies. Prophet and Benioff’s friendship aside, Microsoft and Salesforce have jockeyed for cloud computing supremacy. Many thought the competitive fired was waning after Microsoft integrated Salesforce into its signature Office Suite. But Benioff wants to leave no room for ambiguity and has indicated the rivalry is back.