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Salesforce’s Marc Benioff hints at more potential layoffs

Marc Benioff, CEO of Inc., between panel sessions on day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, May 24, 2022.

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s co-founder and soon-to-be sole CEO indicated in a meeting Thursday that more layoffs could be coming, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The virtual meeting came a day after Salesforce announced it was cutting 10% of its jobs, amounting to over 7,000 positions. Hours later, Amazon said it would reduce its workforce by 18,000. Technology companies are shrinking their workforces for the first time in years as they brace for slowing growth, rising interest rates and a potential recession.

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Salesforce’s Marc Benioff hints at more potential layoffs

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Benioff expressed concern about productivity in parts of the sales organization. About half of Salesforce account managers closed more than 95% of deals, he told employees, according to two people who attended via video. The meeting had been scheduled for an hour but lasted over two hours, another person said.

One of the attendees told CNBC that Benioff said the lack of productivity largely came from new account managers.

Fortune reported earlier on the meeting.

During the pandemic and in the years leading up to it, Salesforce expanded rapidly as cloud adoption increased. The company fueled its growth in part through major acquisitions such as Slack and Tableau.

Now Salesforce is retreating as revenue growth slows and faces an activist investor worried about operating leverage. In November, co-CEO Bret Taylor, who was seen as Benioff’s heir apparent, announced his surprise departure after a year of sharing the top job. He is scheduled to leave at the end of January.

Last month, Benioff posted a Slack message to all employees asking for ways to make new hires more productive. During Thursday’s meeting, Benioff expressed frustration with media reports that emerged 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 will hold.

Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEE: Jim Cramer says more tech layoffs come after Salesforce cuts 10% of workforce

Jim Cramer says more tech layoffs come after Salesforce cuts 10% of workforce

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