Marc Benioff: Dreamforce could possibly be final in SF subsequent month as homelessness, drug use hits – San Francisco Chronicle

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff mentioned the way forward for his firm’s main Dreamforce convention in San Francisco could possibly be in jeopardy if it had been hit by town’s homelessness and drug woes subsequent month.

Dreamforce is town’s largest conference and can convey 40,000 individuals to the Moscone Middle September 12-14.

“If this Dreamforce is affected by the present scenario with homelessness and drug use, it could possibly be the final Dreamforce on the town,” Benioff informed the Chronicle on Tuesday.

The feedback got here throughout an interview about Salesforce’s $1 million donation to a Salvation Military program that helps the homeless. Benioff and his firm beforehand offered cash to help San Francisco’s 2018 Proposition C tax on giant firms, which now raises thousands and thousands of {dollars} for homeless companies annually.

San Francisco’s decades-long homelessness and drug issues have worsened this yr, with drug overdose deaths averaging greater than two a day, which is heading in the right direction for a report excessive. Homelessness has additionally garnered media consideration worldwide because the interior metropolis grapples with the departure of shops and traders and the aftermath of distant work.

Nevertheless, no main Dreamforce incidents associated to homelessness or drug use have been reported lately, though Benioff informed the Chronicle in 2018 that individuals emailed him to complain concerning the homelessness drawback and the soiled streets. The one disruptions on the convention got here from protesters over a janitorial contract final yr and protesters opposing the tech firm’s cooperation with US Customs and Border Safety in 2018.

It’s not clear if Salesforce is in talks to guide the Moscone Middle for a Dreamforce in 2024. Salesforce didn’t present any additional remark.

Benioff mentioned his firm is working to make sure the Dreamforce conference is incident-free and an fulfilling expertise for attendees. He mentioned the convention might be carefully watched by organizers of the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation Summit, which is able to convey collectively world leaders, together with President Biden, and enterprise leaders on the Moscone Middle in November.

“As all the time, we work hand in hand with town,” he mentioned. “We are going to convey a major variety of individuals to town — 40,000 individuals — bringing $57 million to the inner-city economic system consequently. So it’s in all of our pursuits that issues go properly and that APEC does properly. This needs to be the main focus of town.”

Dreamforce, launched in 2003, payments itself because the world’s largest synthetic intelligence occasion this yr. Audio system embrace Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, Fei Fei Li, Professor of AI at Stanford College, and actor Matthew McConaughey. The rock band Foo Fighters was additionally booked for the live performance on the occasion.

Attain Roland Li: [email protected]; Twitter: @rolandlisf. Attain Kevin Fagan: [email protected]; Twitter: @KevinChron