Salesforce Inc.’s co-founder and Chief Executive, Marc Benioff, has raised concerns about the impact of San Francisco’s homelessness and open drug use on the company’s upcoming Dreamforce conference. Benioff warned that if the current situation persists, this could be the last Dreamforce event held in the city.
San Francisco is heavily depending on the massive conference, which is expected to attract approximately 40,000 attendees, to revitalize its struggling downtown area and inject around $57 million into the local economy. It’s worth noting that Salesforce is the largest private employer in the city.
While there have been no major incidents involving the conference in the past, Benioff acknowledged that some attendees had previously complained about conditions in the city. As a result, Salesforce is committed to making Dreamforce a pleasant and safe experience for all participants.
Following his concerns, Benioff also pledged $1 million to the Salvation Army to support homeless individuals grappling with addiction within San Francisco. This generous donation adds to the significant contributions that Benioff and Salesforce have made over the years to homeless services and housing initiatives in the city. In fact, they even backed a ballot measure in 2018 that aimed to increase the city’s business tax for funding homelessness programs.
Dreamforce is scheduled to take place from September 12th to 14th at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. Among the highlights, attendees can look forward to a fireside chat between Benioff and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, known for their development of ChatGPT.
On a related note, Salesforce is expected to announce its fiscal first-quarter earnings on Wednesday afternoon. The company’s shares have experienced significant growth this year, with a 60% increase compared to the S&P 500’s 17% gain.