Salesforce confirms more workers are officially laid off

Salesforce, San Francisco’s largest private employer, laid off thousands of employees early Thursday morning as the tech giant moves forward in its plan to cut its workforce by 10%.

The corporate software company blamed the layoff rounds, originally announced on Jan. 4, on overheating during the pandemic. In a two-hour meeting the following day, CEO Marc Benioff complained that just half of the company’s salespeople were responsible for 96% of sales, according to a CNBC report.

In San Francisco, Thursday’s layoff round hit 258 workers, affecting “sales and customer service,” “technology and product” and “general administration,” according to a WARN notice obtained by SFGATE. WARN notices are mandated by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to notify employees of mass layoffs.

The 10% cut, which began a brutal January of tech layoff announcements, will eventually leave about 7,000 people out of work. Insider reported Thursday that 4,000 people vanished from Salesforce’s Slack channel over the past two days, a tally that may include contractors. Salesforce spokesperson Carolyn Guss confirmed to SFGATE that Thursday’s layoffs were part of the round announced in January.

Layoff posts flooded LinkedIn from across the country and around San Francisco on Thursday morning, as workers bid adieu to their Salesforce “ohana” and placed “#opentowork” filters on their profiles. Though Benioff has expressed concerns about the productivity of new salespeople, many of the jobs are coming from workers who had been at the company for more than five years.

In Ireland, 200 of the firm’s 2,100 employees received their notices Thursday, according to the Irish Independent. Insider reported that hundreds of employees will be axed in England, Germany and France as well.

In the January announcement, Benioff said that US layoffs would come with a minimum of nearly five months of pay, health insurance, career resources and other benefits. He also took personal responsibility for the overhiring.

It’s been a chaotic quarter for the San Francisco titan, which provides customer management software for other companies and owns both Slack and Tableau. At the end of November 2022, co-CEO Bret Taylor announced his departure. Days later, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson said they would leave. And Slack’s chief product officer Tamar Yehoshua and senior vice president of marketing and communications Jonathan Prince handed in their resignations alongside Butterfield.

During last year’s Dreamforce, Benioff suggested that Salesforce would be impacted by “some level of normalization” after seeing significant customer demand and growth in the early days of the pandemic. As tech stocks have tanked and business-to-business sales have slowed, Salesforce has cut back on the added workforce.

“Everything is still bigger, but there is definitely some coverage that has to be dealt with,” he said at a press conference during the event. “I don’t think anyone will disagree with that.”

Hear of anything going on at Salesforce or another tech company? Contact tech reporter Stephen Council securely at

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