Benioff’s Hypocrisy: Dirty San Francisco for Thee, Clean for Me

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says San Francisco underwent an amazing transformation ahead of the company’s massive Dreamforce conference this week:

“When the city of San Francisco wants to look good and look shiny and safe, it can do it,” he told reporters at the event. “It looks great. It looks very safe right now.”

San Francisco has declined for several years thanks to progressive policies. Homelessness, drug use, crime, and business closures have led a quarter of a million people to leave the city since the beginning of 2020. As a result, Benioff threatened to move his conference somewhere else, but the City by the Bay made sure to turn things around for this year’s Dreamforce:

“We put a lot of pressure on the city this year,” Benioff said Wednesday during a press event. “It looks great. It’s very safe right now. We’re moving in the right direction.”


Benioff caused a stir last month when he said that Dreamforce, San Francisco’s largest convention, could leave the city if those attending the event were affected by homelessness and drug use.


“Nobody liked that — I didn’t like to say it,” Benioff said about his threat during a separate event Wednesday on stage with California Governor Gavin Newsom.


“We’re sucking up to you, we want to keep you here,” Newsom said, after Benioff remarked that the city this week is the cleanest he’s ever seen it.

National Legal and Policy Center’s Paul Chesser pointed out that Benioff doesn’t share the same concern for small businesses in San Francisco. Instead the Chairman/CEO told them to move on because the city is “never going back to the way it was.”

San Francisco’s effort to please Benioff is ironic considering his support for progressive causes that contributed to the city’s decline in the first place. Peter Flaherty, Chairman of NLPC, presented a proposal at the Salesforce annual shareholder meeting on June 8, 2023, which sought a policy that would require the Chairman and CEO roles to be held by two different people:

When the same person is both Chairman and CEO, that individual apparently feels less constrained to impose their personal political views on the whole company, as Mr. Benioff has done. Is there any destructive, left-wing initiative to which he hasn’t attached Salesforce’s name?


It may be true that it is easier to stop drinking Bud Light or shop at Target than it is to switch software systems. But that doesn’t mean the company is immune to the mounting fury over Corporate America’s alliance with anti-business activists and moral anarchists.

He criticized Benioff for creating a “nightmare” while using his wealth and power to insulate himself from San Francisco’s downfall.

So what do Mr. Benioff and the other billionaires do about the people who hate capitalism, the people who might challenge the morality of them having all that wealth?


Well, you buy them off and embrace their causes, of course, no matter how bad it is for the rest of us.


When you have billions and live in a bubble, you never have to worry about your own personal security.


You don’t have to step over used needles or human feces on the sidewalk.


And best of all, you don’t take responsibility for the nightmare you have created.

Benioff’s politics contributed to the decline of San Francisco and he told small businesses to adapt, but then he used his influence and threats to win special favors for the Dreamforce conference. He’s the classic progressive billionaire who demands others to accept absurd rules and conditions, and suffer the destructive consequences, but expects special treatment for himself.




Tags: California, Marc Benioff, Salesforce, San Francisco, shareholder activism, woke corporations