Diane Greene sat down Tuesday at the Dreamforce conference for a deeply personal interview conducted by none other than Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
Showing some journalistic chops, Benioff pressed hard and got Google's cloud chief and former VMware CEO to open up about her family, early career, marriage to VMware co-founder Mendel Rosemblum, and how she ended up as a senior executive at Google.
Greene shared intimate stories, including how her father, a CEO of an aircraft company, lost his security clearance (and his job) because a conniving competitor accused him to the government of being a communist. She also recounted her first encounter with Rosenblum, when he took her home from a research lab on a motorcycle, and how she became friends with Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, leading to her current position.
While Google Cloud and Salesforce on Monday announced a new strategic partnership, Benioff first met Greene 20 years ago, when, at the behest of a friend who made the introduction, she came knocking at his door, just down the hall from Larry Ellison's office at Oracle.
Benioff wasn't as willing an interview subject when Greene asked him questions, but he told attendees of the session that he remembers the meeting like it was yesterday.
That's where he first learned about the virtualization technology that Greene would pioneer with VMware, and would later lay a technological foundation for Salesforce to upend the industry with Software-as-a-Service model.
Now that Google and Salesforce have partnered, Greene is finally attending her first Dreamforce conference.
"Shame on me," Greene said. "I love how non-commercial it is. And inspired."
The companies have natural synergies that transcend technology, Greene said.
"Google is always trying to do the right thing, similar to you guys," she said.