Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Says “Not Everyone Goes Back” to the Office

Marc Benioff, Founder, President and Co-CEO of Salesforce, speaks during an Economic Club of Washington luncheon in Washington, DC on October 18, 2019.

NICOLAS KAMM | AFP | Getty Images

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said on Tuesday there was no return to the workplace before the pandemic.

“I’m sorry for all of my friends, but we won’t all be going back,” Benioff said during an onstage interview at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Benioff’s statements about the office’s future have been particularly notable since his company’s gargantuan 61-story tower in San Francisco opened just over three years ago. The company also owns large buildings in cities such as Indianapolis, London, New York and Tokyo.

These were all built before Benioff was 18 months old to see how efficiently his business and others can operate with employees working from home or other remote locations.

“We have almost 75,000 people now,” Benioff said. “They’re not in their towers. We built these wonderful towers. They’re mostly home, and that’s good.”

In July, Salesforce firm the acquisition of Slack for $ 27.7 billion, its largest purchase ever. Slack’s software helps workers stay in touch via calls and chat messages and, along with products from companies like Zoom and Microsoft, has become a central part of the pandemic portfolio.

“We won’t be going back, and that’s why we Slack,” Benioff said.

Benioff before told CNBC that he expects 50-60% of Salesforce employees to work from home even after the pandemic.

He said on Tuesday that his view on remote working was not shared by all of his counterparts. CEOs of large companies are calling him and saying they want their employees to come back to the office, Benioff said. He tells them the job will be different, with people coming together at events, offsite company meetings and special training events.

Benioff noted that some companies already operate this way. Automattic, owner of content management software WordPress, does not have a head office but gathers employees on an Airbnb list once a month, Benioff said. The venture capital arm of Salesforce is an investor in Automattic.

Last week, Salesforce hosted its annual Dreamforce conference, with most sessions going virtually. Benioff said about 1,000 people gathered in person at the event in San Francisco. At the 2019 conference, the last before the pandemic, more than 170,000 people attended.

LOOK: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff discusses the delta variant of Covid and the impact of remote working

Comments are closed.