Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said on Tuesday that he would not return to his pre-pandemic workplace.
“I’m sorry for all my friends, but not everyone will hold back,” Benioff said in a forum interview at a Code conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Benioff’s comments on the future of the office are particularly noteworthy because his company’s massive 61-story tower in San Francisco opened nearly three years ago. The company also has large buildings in cities such as Indianapolis, London, New York and Tokyo.
They all looked at how Benioff was created 18 months ago and how his company and others can work effectively at home or with employees working in other remote areas.
“Currently, there are about 75,000 people,” Benioff said. “They’re not in their towers. We built these gorgeous towers. They’re almost at home, and that’s okay.”
In July, Salesforce completed its $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack, its largest acquisition in history. Slack’s software helps workers stay in touch via phone calls and chat messages, and along with products from companies like Zoom and Microsoft, is a central part of the pandemic portfolio.
“We’re not coming back, so we’re doing Slack,” Benioff said.
Benioff previously told CNBC that 50% to 60% of Salesforce employees expect to work from home after the pandemic.
He said Tuesday that his views on remotework are not shared by all of his counterparts. According to Benioff, the CEO of a large company called him and wanted his employees to return to the office. He tells them that their jobs will vary, such as people gathering at events, off-site corporate meetings and special training programs.
Benioff said some companies already operate this way. Benioff said Automattic, the owner of content management software WordPress, has no physical headquarters, but once a month it brings employees to Airbnb’s list. The venture division of Salesforce is an investor in Automattic.
Last week, Salesforce hosted its annual Dreamforce meeting, with nearly all sessions taking place. Benioff said about 1,000 people gathered directly at the event in San Francisco. The last conference in 2019 before the pandemic was attended by more than 170,000 people.
Look: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff discusses the impact of the Covid Delta variant and remote work