Salesforce’s Marc Benioff factors to extra potential layoffs

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

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s Co-founder and soon-to-be sole CEO, hinted at an all-hands meeting Thursday that more jobs could be downsized, according to people familiar with the matter.

The virtual meeting came a day after Salesforce announced it was cutting 10% of its jobs, which translates to over 7,000 jobs. Hours later, Amazon said it would cut headcount by 18,000. Tech companies are cutting their workforce for the first time in years as they anticipate slowing growth, rising interest rates and a possible recession.

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Benioff raised concerns about productivity in parts of the sales organization. About half of Salesforce reps brought in more than 95% of deals, he told staff, according to two people who participated via video. The meeting was scheduled for an hour but lasted over two hours, another person said.

One of the participants told CNBC that Benioff said the lack of productivity was largely due to new account managers.

Fortune previously reported on the meeting.

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

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Now Salesforce is pulling out as revenue growth slows and it faces an activist investor concerned about operating leverage. In November, co-CEO Bret Taylor, seen as Benioff’s heir apparent, announced his surprise departure after sharing the top job for a year. He should go at the end of January.

Last month, Benioff posted a Slack message to all employees asking about ways new hires could be more productive. During Thursday’s meeting, Benioff expressed frustration at media reports that surfaced regarding his comments.

“One of our core values ​​is trust,” Benioff said, according to one of the attendees.

The person said it took Benioff a long time to respond to a response about Salesforce’s future.

Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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