Salesforce CEO says San Francisco homelessness, drug use could force relocation of Dreamforce conference

San Francisco, where Salesforce is headquartered, has been facing homelessness and drug use issues

Issues plaguing San Francisco could reportedly force Salesforce to potentially pick another city for future instances of its Dreamforce conference.

Marc Benioff, the billionaire CEO and co-founder of Salesforce, said Tuesday to the San Francisco Chronicle that the upcoming conference "may be the last" in the Bay Area city "if this Dreamforce is impacted by the current situation with homelessness and drug use." 

San Francisco, the city where Salesforce has its corporate headquarters, has hosted the software company’s Dreamforce event for many years. Steps to keep the conference incident-free are being taken by the company, with Benioff telling the outlet Salesforce is "working hand in hand with the city as we always do."

Marc Benioff, Chief Executive Officer of Salesforce. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We’ll bring a significant number of people to the city — 40,000 people — and it will generate $57 million in the downtown economy," Benoiff reportedly said. "So it’s in all of our interests for it to go well, and for APEC to go well. This should be the focus of the city."

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APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The group has a meeting of its leaders slated to take place in San Francisco in about 2.5 months, according to its website.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reported no big issues stemming from either of the things Benioff mentioned have arisen at recent iterations of the Dreamforce conference.

San Francisco California street skyline

A view of San Francisco atop a city street with cars parked on the side. (iStock / iStock)

The annual tech conference happens annually. For 2023, it is slated for Sept. 12-14, with the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco holding the events that draw a wide array of speakers and guests. 

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Benioff recently revealed The Salvation Army would receive a grant worth $1 million from Salesforce, with those funds expected to help homeless individuals in San Francisco through The Way Out program, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Salesforce logo

The Salesforce logo is seen at its headquarters on December 1, 2020 in San Francisco, California. The cloud-based enterprise software company announced on Tuesday that it will purchase the popular workplace-chat app Slack for $27.7 billion. (Stephen Lam/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Homelessness is an issue the Salesforce CEO and his wife have made contributions to address in the past. For example, they provided funding to create the University of California, San Francisco, Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, according to the company’s website. 

Benioff co-founded Salesforce over two decades ago. He has a personal fortune worth $8.1 billion, according to Forbes. 

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San Francisco has also seen a slew of companies indicate they would exit locations in the city’s downtown area, including Nordstrom, Cinemark Holdings and Park Hotels & Resorts.

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