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It’s an unpopular opinion in today’s polarized society to not care about a CEO’s politics, but I really don’t. Conservative CEOs draw backlash from the left. Woke CEO’s draw backlash from the right. In both scenarios, people often make buying decisions based on these political considerations.
I don’t concern myself with an individual employee’s political leanings as long as they don’t interfere with business. However, when a company imposes leadership’s ideology into their products or services, I pay attention. This is why I haven’t eaten at Chipotle in a long time, for example. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has threatened to take his ideology to the extremes as it pertains to his business. According to Breitbart:
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is threatening to pull his software company’s operations out of Republican-run states if their policies do not align with his liberal worldview, specifically in regard to abortion policy.
Appearing on CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow on Friday, Benioff stated: “If you’re not for equality and dignity, then this is something that I cannot work with, and then we’re going to have to exit your city or your state.”
Uberdouche/@SalesforceOrg CEO @Benioff vows to leave Republican-led cities/states: "If you're not for equality and dignity … then we're going to have to exit your city or your state" pic.twitter.com/6217HucMCZ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 23, 2022
Before making his threat, the billionaire mentioned that he is dealing with a “series of crazy presidents, crazy governors, crazy mayors” all over the country and world.
When Harlow pressed Benioff on who he thought was “crazy,” he did not mention a current situation but referenced Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015. After then-governor Mike Pence (R) signed the legislation, the billionaire tech CEO announced plans to cancel programs that would require customers and employees to travel to the Hoosier state.
He followed up on his threat by promising relocation packages to employees in Indiana who wished to move.
Pence and other Republican legislators ultimately caved to Benioff’s and woke corporations’ demands by passing a revised amendment that effectively nullified the original piece of legislation passed.
Benioff has turned Salesforce into a political organization, making fighting the culture war more important than serving customers. Yep, that’s a hard pass.
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) September 25, 2022
If he’s so willing to impose his ideology on others to the point that he’ll harm his own employees and customers over it, then it behooves ALL businesses, whether owned by Republicans or not, to abandon the use of their popular productivity software. The sentiment of their CEO tells us that he puts personal politics above the wellbeing of those involved with his company. In essence, he’s weaponizing his company, and that does not make for good business decisions.
Conservative, leftist, or indifferent, every company in America that uses Salesforce should find an alternative immediately. The CEO’s willingness to harm customers and employees over politics reeks of instability. Abandon ship now.