Our guest today is John Somorjai, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and head of Salesforce Ventures.

Salesforce has over 3,000 partners and 150+ companies in their current investment portfolio. They’ve also had 30 plus exits and five IPOs so that’s on top of the 150.

You can look up more about Salesforce, it’s acquisitions, and investments at They’re @Salesforce on twitter, but also have various other handles including @SalesforceVC, and @MarketingCloud. But you can find John @jsomorjai, that JSOMORJAI on twitter. He’s wicked smart and definitely worth a follow…

Now, One of the things we didn’t get to discuss in this interview is that Somorjai has his JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. I think that’s interesting context for how he got to where he is at Salesforce and how he might think in evaluating startup companies for potential investment.

He was a senior director of corporate development at Oracle for almost 5 years before taking on a VP of Business Development role at Ingenio, a high growth company that was eventually acquired by AT&T.

Somrojai then joined forces with Marc Benioff at, and since 2005, John has led the evaluation, deal execution and integration for all mergers and acquisitions, and investments at Salesforce. His team has helped bring the company into insane growth areas through acquisitions including Demandware, Exact Target, Radian6, Buddy Media, Heroku, the list goes on and on….

I could go on about this guy all day, but I think it’s best if we just dive right in. Here’s John Somorjai EVP at Salesforce and Salesforce Ventures.

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These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

In this episode with John Somorjai, you’ll learn:

  • About John’s career progression and how he got started with Salesforce.
  • How Salesforce investment has helped nurture growth in the ecosystem of enterprise cloud companies.
  • About Salesforce’s expansion into European markets, and how the set themselves apart from other Corporate VCs.
  • About their focus on corporate philanthropy and the 1/1/1 model.
  • Key strategies Corporate VCs for potential investment and maximizing the opportunities they offer.
  • What makes an attractive investment for a Corporate VC.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


Ludovic Ulrich

Chris Baggott

Marc Benioff

Colin Powell

Jeremy Roche

Company Websites:



Andreessen Horowitz

Battery Ventures







Marketing Cloud

Connect with John Somorjai:

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank John on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let John know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank John on twitter!


What stood out most to you about what John shares in this podcast?

For me, it is his journey to where he is now at Salesforce.

You? Leave a comment below.


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These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website.