Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Lashes Out at San Francisco Billionaires ‘Hoarding’ Their Money
Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of Salesforce, continued his outspoken campaign in favor of aiding the homeless Tuesday, telling the Guardian that the billionaires of the San Francisco Bay Area are “hoarding” their money.
Benioff is a strong supporter of Proposition C, a question on San Francisco’s ballot that will put additional taxes on businesses with revenue above $50 million to fund efforts to reduce homelessness. If passed, the proposition is expected to bring in up to $300 million to support affordable housing, shelters, and mental health treatment, doubling current investments.
Even though it could cost Salesforce up to $10 million in taxes annually, Benioff has already pledged $2 million of his and Salesforce’s funds to support the measure. He argues that the annual cost of Proposition C is still less than what Salesforce is saving from recent tax cuts.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, has voiced support for San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who opposes the measure. Benioff got into a Twitter spat with Dorsey last week, demanding to know how Dorsey is helping the homeless if he doesn’t support the tax increase. Dorsey argued that while he supports efforts to help the homeless, he doesn’t believe Proposition C is the “best way to do it.”
Speaking to the Guardian Tuesday, Benioff again criticized the tech executive.
“He just doesn’t want to give, that’s all. And he hasn’t given anything of consequence in the city,” said Benioff, adding that he wasn’t surprised by Dorsey’s position. “We have 70 billionaires in San Francisco [Bay Area region]. Not all of them are giving money away. A lot of them are just hoarding it. They’re keeping it. That’s just who they are and how they look at their money.”
“This is a critical moment where I think Prop C kind of illuminates who is willing to be a San Franciscan and actually support our local services,” he continued.
Benioff also attacked the payment platform Stripe, another San Francisco-based tech company opposed to Proposition C because it lacks a “comprehensive plan.” According to the Guardian, Stripe has given more than $400,000 to a campaign fighting the proposition.
“It’s the most money they’ve ever given to anything in San Francisco, so that’s exciting,” Benioff told the Guardian. “[Prop C] will be a direct tax on Stripe that they don’t want to have to pay. Even though they’ve made $20 billion dollars in San Francisco, they’re not willing to give back at scale. Isn’t that amazing?”
At the WIRED25 summit in San Francisco Monday, Benioff gave some insight into why he feels the homelessness issue is so important.
“San Francisco is amazing,” he said at the event, according to CNBC. “We have these incredible companies and entrepreneurs, innovation and technology, but we cannot separate ourselves from others. We have to get back to the feeling that we are one, and we are responsible for the city that we are living in and growing our businesses in.”