Salesforce’s CEO, Marc Benioff, remarked that the upcoming Dreamforce conference might be the final one in San Francisco due to increasing concerns over homelessness, drug issues, and the subsequent rise in crime.
The statement was made during his discussion with the San Francisco Chronicle. Dreamforce, the largest convention in the city, is set to attract 40,000 attendees to the Moscone Center from Sept. 12 to 14.
Benioff discussed the event: “If this Dreamforce is negatively affected by the prevailing issues of homelessness and drug abuse, it could potentially be our final Dreamforce here.”
This discussion also touched upon Salesforce’s generous donation of $1 million to a Salvation Army initiative designed to assist the homeless. Benioff and his enterprise have consistently supported such causes, notably backing San Francisco’s 2018 Proposition C tax. This tax targets major businesses and accumulates millions annually for services dedicated to the homeless.
San Francisco is currently witnessing a wave of significant retailers departing, illustrated by the recent closure of a central Nordstrom outlet. Several factors contribute to this trend, including diminished footfall due to the pandemic-driven shift to remote work and increased crime rates, significantly affecting upscale and mainstream retailers in the city’s heart.
Moreover, Benioff, who was a one-time donor to Hillary Clinton and later distanced himself from political donations in 2020, has previously expressed intentions to withdraw his business operations from Republican-dominated states that enact stringent laws on abortion.
In April, citing concerns for “worker safety,” Whole Foods shut down its main store in downtown San Francisco, as confirmed to ABC News. The company assured all staff members from that location would be relocated to nearby branches.
Similarly, Old Navy closed its downtown San Francisco branch in May. In a statement from its parent company, Gap, it was mentioned that Old Navy consistently reviews its property holdings to maintain an optimized collection of stores.
According to the latest statistics available up to Sunday, crime trends in San Francisco present a varied picture. Homicides have seen an approximately 8 percent increase this year in comparison to the same timeframe in 2022, while robberies have surged by around 12 percent as per the data from the San Francisco Police Department.