Salesforce’s slash in personnel comes after having greatly expanded its staff during the pandemic.
This week Salesforce announced that it will be reducing its staffing levels by ten percent, or around 7,000 employees. The announcement came in the form of a letter from Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, in which he praised the company and its people, but emphasized that he had to take a “very difficult decision”.
The economic environment “remains challenging”, Benioff explains, “and our customers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions”.
Benioff goes on to accept responsibility for the need to cut his workers. “As our revenue accelerated through the pandemic, we hired too many people leading into this economic downturn we’re now facing”, he writes, “and I take responsibility for that”.
In fact, Salesforce claimed 79,000 employees last February. That represents a 30 percent increase on 2020 — an admittedly high figure. Still, Benioff can be forgiven for overstepping. The pandemic proved to be an absolute boon to companies like Salesforce, who empowered remote working and online collaboration. Such services exploded as workers were forced to work from home due to COVID lockdowns.
Victim to the drop in remote working
Ironically, Salesforce itself was forced to have many of its new hires in 2021 work from home. Even more ironically, Benioff once complained about the productivity of Salesforce’s remote workers. All of that changed, however, once the pandemic receded and people started coming back to the office to work. The drop in remote working has triggered a massive wave of layoffs in the tech sector, and Salesforce is just one of hundreds of tech companies that have had to slash staff in recent months.
“For those who will be leaving Salesforce, our priority is to fully support them, including by offering a generous package”, Benioff promises. He went on to say that affected US employees will receive “a minimum of nearly five months of pay, health insurance, career resources” and “other benefits to help with their transition”. Laid-off workers outside the US will receive a similar level of support, he promises, in a way that “aligns with employment laws in each country”.