SCIENCE & TECH: Salesforce’s Marc Benioff claims San Francisco ‘looks great’
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff took credit for San Francisco’s effort to clean up the streets ahead of his company’s biggest annual conference this week — days after he publicly threatened to pull the event due to rampant crime and homelessness in the city.
Benioff had demanded action from city and state officials ahead of his firm’s annual “Dreamforce” conference, warning that the 2023 edition could be the last to take place in San Francisco unless local leaders addressed his concerns.
“We put a lot of pressure on the city this year,” Benioff told reporters on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “It looks great. It’s very safe right now. We’re moving in the right direction.”
Losing the Dreamforce conference would be yet another major blow for San Francisco, which has seen an exodus of companies and constant criticism from executives as it struggles with lawlessness, drug use and other glaring public safety issues.
This year, the conference was expected to attract approximately 43,000 visitors and generate nearly $90 million in revenue for San Francisco, according to data from the San Francisco Travel Association cited by Salesforce.
Benioff reportedly dodged a follow-up question on whether San Francisco’s apparent progress meant that Salesforce’s conference would return next year.
“Homelessness remains a major issue in our city,” Benioff said.
He also called on San Francisco to hire more police officers, step up enforcement of existing laws and build more affordable housing.
Bloomberg noted that Oracle and Google had recently moved events out of San Francisco.
Dreamforce runs through Thursday and features a mixture of speeches and panel discussions, entertainment and appearances from well-known celebrities and blue-chip executives.
Speaking at a later event on Wednesday, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom quipped that officials were “sucking up” to Benioff because “we want to keep you here.”
“Ramping up police visibility and community ambassadors in key tourist areas has been an ongoing effort,” a spokesperson for San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “San Francisco is committed to making Dreamforce a world-class event, as we do year after year.”
Last month, Benioff openly stated that Dreamforce would need a new home if local officials did not address major issues plaguing San Francisco.
“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 Aug. 29.
Salesforce did not immediately return The Post’s request for further comment.