Tech

Salesforce promises no 'significant' layoffs over the next three months, even with coronavirus spreading

Key Points
  • The commitment comes after start-ups have cut employees and people have been rushing to request unemployment payments.
  • Salesforce had over 49,000 employees on January 31.
Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce.com speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2020.
Adam Galasia | CNBC

Salesforce won't be cutting employees over the next few months even as the economy digests the consequences of the coronavirus continuing its spread.

The commitment, directly from Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff, represents corporate determination from the top of a major employer — with more than 49,000 employees as of January 31 — to avoid contributing to a swell of unemployment. Last week the U.S. reported the highest week-over-week percentage increase in unemployment in history,  triggered by decreases in travel and local business lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19. California has received more than 1 million unemployment claims in less than two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday.

"Salesforce is pledging to its workforce Ohana not to conduct any significant lay offs over the next 90 days," Benioff wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. "We will continue to pay our hourly workers while our offices are closed. We encourage our Ohana to pay their own personal hourly workers like housekeepers & dog walkers." (Benioff often uses the Hawaiian word "ohana," or "family," to refer to Salesforce employees.)

Compass, TripActions and Triplebyte are among the companies that have reportedly cut employees in recent weeks.

On Wednesday the White House and U.S. Senate leaders reached an agreement on a stimulus bill.

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