Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said the pressure campaign he’s been putting on the city to clean up its act for Dreamforce has been working but urged the city to enforce laws and hire more police officers.
Last month, Benioff said Dreamforce’s more than two-decade run in San Francisco could end if the conference were impacted by homelessness and open-air drug use.
“I’ve put a lot of pressure on the city and really ramped it up in the last few weeks,” Benioff told reporters on Wednesday. “When the city of San Francisco wants to look good and get shiny, clean and safe, it knows how to do that.
“If they can do it for Dreamforce, why can’t they do it every day?” Benioff added.
Benioff did not confirm whether this would be the last Dreamforce in San Francisco.
Benioff acknowledged the city’s well-publicized issues relating to crime and homelessness, and he highlighted San Francisco’s police staffing woes, urging the city to expand its police force and actually “enforce our laws.”
He also made a reference to the city’s twin problems of housing and homelessness, which have been long-standing city issues.
“My grandfather was a supervisor in the ’50s in San Francisco because of the homeless shelters on Market Street; homelessness remains a major issue in our city,” Benioff said, pointing to the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, which he helps fund.
On a more positive note, Benioff referenced San Francisco’s status as a center for the AI ecosystem, saying eight of the top 20 AI companies are located in the city.
“The vacancy rate is rapidly being eliminated as amazing companies have been coming in and taking space,” Benioff said.
Dreamforce is an annual three-day technology conference in San Francisco, hosted by cloud management company Salesforce.
The company says Dreamforce is the “largest software conference in the world,” boasting appearances from high-profile politicians, A-list celebrities and prominent tech bosses. This year is the 21st iteration of Dreamforce, and around 40,000 people are expected to attend.
When asked about his succession plans after the departure of his co-CEO Bret Taylor last year, he punted on a response.
“I’m just having the best time ever right now,” Benioff said with a laugh.