Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff warns upcoming Dreamforce may be last in San Francisco

Salesforce Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Marc Benioff warned Tuesday that the company’s upcoming Dreamforce conference could be its last in San Francisco if it’s affected by the city’s homelessness and open drug use.

San Francisco is counting on the huge conference, expected to draw about 40,000 people, to help reinvigorate its struggling downtown and inject about $57 million into the local economy. Salesforce is the city’s largest private employer.

“If this Dreamforce is impacted by the current situation with homelessness and drug use, it may be the last Dreamforce” in the city, Benioff told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday. While there apparently have not been any prior major incidents involving the conference, Benioff told the Chronicle in 2018 that some attendees had complained about conditions in the city.

Benioff told the Chronicle on Tuesday that Salesforce

is working to make Dreamforce a pleasant and safe event for attendees.

Read more: Salesforce is hosting the biggest AI show in the U.S. in a few weeks

The billionaire’s comments came after he pledged $1 million to the Salvation Army on Tuesday to help homeless people struggling with addiction in San Francisco.

Over the years, Benioff and Salesforce have donated tens of millions of dollars to homeless services and housing in San Francisco, including financially backing a ballot measure in 2018 to raise the city’s business tax to help fund homelessness programs.

Dreamforce will run Sept. 12-14 at Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. For the headline event, Benioff is scheduled to hold a fireside chat with Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.

Salesforce is expected to report fiscal first-quarter earnings Wednesday afternoon. The company’s shares have surged 60% year to date, compared with the S&P 500’s
17% gain.

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