Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, right, speaks to the media after greeting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Friday, April 12, 2002. Powell joined’s board of directors last week. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined’s board of directors, the customer relationship management software company revealed late last week.

The retired four-star general has been friends with chief executive Marc Benioff for more than 15 years, Benioff said in a statement March 14.

“He was also instrumental in shaping’s integrated philanthropic model and the formation of the Foundation many years ago,” Benioff said, referring to Salesforce’s philanthropic arm, which donates and discounts the company’s technology for nonprofits.

“In addition to being on the forefront of innovation, has been a remarkable leader, and has inspired many other companies, as it has made philanthropy a central part of its value system,” Powell said in a statement.

Other members of the 11-person board include Benioff, former U.S. ambassador to Japan John Roos, Hewlett-Packard’s former vice president treasurer Lawrence Tomlinson, and Yahoo! chairman Maynard Webb.