Salesforce CEO lays down employees hired during pandemic
The billionaire CEO behind Salesforce and Slack wrote in a leaked message to employees that new hires have been less productive during the pandemic.
The memo came last week from Marc Benioff, a founder of software company Salesforce, whose stock price has halved in the past year.
Benioff, 58, said those hired in 2021 and 2022 were “much less” productive and asked if that reflected the company’s “office policy.”
His message was sent via Slack — a messaging platform the company acquired last year as part of a vision to invest in remote work software.
Billionaire Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, 58, questioned whether working from home is negatively impacting his employees’ productivity in a leaked Slack message
Salesforce has suffered a significant drop in its stock price over the past year
Salesforce — the largest private employer in San Francisco — was one of the first tech companies to tell employees they wouldn’t have to return to the office after the pandemic. Instead, it gave many the freedom to choose where to work.
Since then, the company has increased its workforce by 32 percent, but amid recent struggles it has laid off more than 1,000 employees – similar to many Silicon Valley companies.
Benioff’s Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor resigned just two weeks ago over reported friction between the two.
Benioff’s cynicism about working from home marks a departure from the position he held in mid-2021 when he championed the ability for employees to work remotely.
Marc Benioff’s leaked Slack message:
In particular, new employees (hired during the 2021 and 2022 pandemic) face much lower productivity. Is this a reflection of our office politics? Aren’t we building tribal knowledge with new employees without office culture? Don’t our managers raise productivity directly with their teams? Are we investing too little time in our new employees? Are managers focusing enough time and energy on onboarding new employees and achieving productivity? is it too overwhelming to join salesforce as a new hire? Ask for a friend. (I’m leaving this open to get the broadest possible response.)
“The phenomenon I’m seeing globally is that not as many employees are returning to their offices as a CEO expected,” Benioff told CNBC’s Mad Money.
“You’re starting to see very low attendance in the offices because employees are so productive at home,” he added. “You can be successful from anywhere.”
Salesforce is suffering from declining revenue as the economy continues to weaken and CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk have predicted an imminent recession.
Meta and Salesforce are just a couple of tech companies that have previously had to downsize to lay off less-productive employees.
The strategy also allows companies to avoid mass layoffs and poaching workers through managerial performance reviews and internal restructuring.
Stevie Buckley, the co-founder of Talent Stuff, a hiring platform for tech companies, told Insider, “It’s pretty common to use this opportunity as almost – that’s a terrible term – but ultimately a ‘spring cleaning’ of your employee roster.”
In November 2021, Salesforce announced it would allow individual teams to choose the terms of their work.
“We’re giving teams the power to choose how, when and where they work — including how many days a week they come into the office and what type of work they keep doing at home,” the company said.
Salesforce, the largest private employer in San Francisco, was among the first to tell its employees that going back to the office isn’t mandatory
In November 2021, Salesforce announced it would allow individual teams to choose the terms of their work
Salesforce bought Slack as part of a vision to “create the digital headquarters that empowers any business to achieve customer and employee success from anywhere,” Benioff said at the time
Benioff shared his remarks about working from home via instant messaging platform Slack, which Salesforce bought last year. Slack, like Zoom, has been a popular tool used by companies to manage human resources during the pandemic.
When Salesforce bought the company from Benioff, he said in a statement that the acquisition was driven by a vision to “create the digital headquarters that empowers any business to achieve customer and employee success from anywhere.”
A feature of Slack is that those viewing messages can quickly reply to them with an emoji. While many agreed, dozens responded with emojis that read “WFH” or “citation needed.”
The CEO was grateful for the feedback and responded to his original post by saying that the flood of replies from employees is a testament to Slack’s power as a corporate communications tool.
“Asking employees (and customers and each other) tough questions to get answers is one of the most effective ways to get answers as a leader today,” he wrote.
“That’s why we bought Slack, because there’s no better way to ask questions and collect answers quickly. Already today we have almost 500 answers to these questions – amazing and incredibly useful!’
U.S.-based tech companies have cut over 28,000 jobs so far this year, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Benioff went on to express his frustration that his internal correspondence had been leaked.
“I hope you will agree that it is also disappointing that our private conversations here were leaked to the public media almost immediately,” he wrote again on Slack.
“I wonder how we affirm that trust is our highest corporate value? How do we demonstrate the power of trust and transparency without immediate disclosure. It sums up who we are at Salesforce.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11552635/Salesforce-CEO-lays-employees-hired-pandemic.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Salesforce CEO lays down employees hired during pandemic