Salesforce is Cutting Workforce by 10% After Pandemic Hires

Marc Benioff, a senior executive at Oracle, founded Salesforce, which swiftly became one of the biggest businesses in the world and went public in 2004. By fiscal year 2009, Salesforce became the first cloud computing business to generate US$1 billion in revenue, and by 2022, it became the largest corporate software company in the world.

Over 7000 people will be affected by the 10% staff reduction announced by Salesforce, which will also close locations in “certain geographies.”

As one of the biggest technological businesses today, Salesforce will rank as the 61st largest company in the world by market cap on September 19, 2022, with a valuation of around US$153 billion.

Pandemic hires

Benioff stated that Salesforce had hired too many people via the pandemic during the boom times, which was a problem shared by other businesses that had to make major layoffs during the previous year. As background, the corporation reported 79000 employees in February of last year, a 30% rise from 2020.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on how we got here, Benioff wrote. I accept responsibility for the hiring excess staff before the current economic slump because our revenue increased due to the epidemic.

Those impacted in the United States will receive a “minimum” of nearly five months’ pay, in addition to health insurance and “other benefits to help with their transition,” according to Benioff. Benioff stated that employees should anticipate “equal levels of support” elsewhere.

The disclosure comes shortly after activist investor Starboard Value bought a stake in the business software firm. Based on our analysis at the time, we concluded that Starboard Value’s investment included a cost-cutting strategy. Undoubtedly, Salesforce disclosed an initial round of layoffs affecting “hundreds” of employees in early November. Bret Taylor, co-CEO and co-chair, then announced his resignation shortly after.

Layoff rounds

The economy is still struggling four days into the new year, and today’s news comes after a number of significant layoffs last year, including those at Facebook parent company Meta, which slashed 13% of its employees, and Stripe, which cut 14%. There are numerous indications that Tesla is getting ready for another round of layoffs in the first quarter of 2023, and Amazon last week got a $8 billion loan as part of a larger strategy to combat the “uncertain macroeconomic environment.”

Salesforce has experienced enormous challenges, just like virtually every other software business. Salesforce’s market worth has seen something of a “correction” in the intervening months, sitting at about $134 billion — roughly where it was three years ago — after reaching an all-time valuation top of more than $300 billion in late 2021. At its most recent earnings release the previous year, the corporation also declined to make a sales prediction for 2023.