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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Calls San Francisco A Train Wreck Of Inequality

KCBS Radio Midday News
January 22, 2019 - 2:09 pm

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called San Francisco a "train wreck" of inequality, and said that many tech executives are willfully blind to the issues of  gentrification and homelessness.

Speaking with CNBC's Sara Eisen at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the outspoken CEO called San Francisco's technology industry “incredible” and the envy of the world, but noted that the city has “a real inequality problem” with housing prices, homelessness and gentrification.  

“In some ways, San Francisco is the canary in the coal mine," said the founder of Salesforce, which is based in San Francisco. "Walking down the streets is disgusting, and it has to change."

The Salesforce chief was a vocal proponent of Proposition C that passed in November. It's expected to generate up to $300 million in new tax revenue to tackle the city's homelessness crisis.

Benioff noted issue like gender inequality and homelessness weren't being talked about at Davos 10 years ago, but they are now.

He called on executives in San Francisco to “wake up” and “see what’s happening here,” and blamed the tech sector for being culturally unable or unwilling to recognize the scope of the problem and work for solutions.

Written by Jordan Bowen.