Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff hints at more potential layoffs after this week’s job cuts
January 9, 2023
Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s co-founder and soon to be sole CEO, indicated in an all-hands meeting on Thursday that more downsizing could be coming, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The virtual meeting came a day after Salesforce announced that it was cutting 10% of jobs, amounting to over 7,000 positions. Hours later, Amazon said it would lower headcount by 18,000. Tech companies are shrinking their workforce for the first time in years as they reckon with slowing growth, rising interest rates and a potential recession.
Benioff expressed concerns about productivity in parts of the sales organization. About half of Salesforce account executives brought in more than 95% of deals, he told the employees, according to two people who attended by video. The meeting had been scheduled for an hour but ran for over two hours, another person said.
One of the attendees told CNBC that Benioff said the lack of productivity was largely from new account executives.
Fortune reported earlier on the meeting.
During the pandemic and in the years leading up to it, Salesforce expanded rapidly as cloud adoption soared. The company fueled its growth in part through large acquisitions such as Slack and Tableau.
Now Salesforce is retrenching as revenue growth is slowing and as it faces an activist investor concerned about operating leverage. In November, co-CEO Bret Taylor, who was seen as Benioff’s heir apparent, announced his surprise departure after a year sharing the top job. He’s slated to leave at the end of January.
Last month, Benioff posted a Slack message to all employees asking for ways to make new staffers more productive. During Thursday’s meeting, Benioff expressed frustration about media reports that surfaced regarding his comments.
“One of our core values is trust,” Benioff said, according to one of the attendees.
The person said Benioff took a long time to respond to an answer about what Salesforce’s future holds.
Salesforce didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.