Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has
threatened to “reduce our investment” in Indiana over a bill that
opponents say would allow businesses to refuse to serve members of
the LGBT community based on religious beliefs.
Shortly after Republican Governor Mike
Pence signed the bill, Benioff, who opposed passage, tweeted his
Gov. Mike Pence signs bill allowing businesses to refuse to serve
“Today we are canceling all programs
that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face
discrimination,” he messaged.
A day earlier, Benioff tweeted: “We
are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in IN based on our
employee's & customer's outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill.”
While Salesforce is headquartered in
San Francisco, last year it acquired Indianapolis-based analytics
provider ExactTarget and renamed the company Salesforce
According to Wikipedia, Salesforce
Marketing Cloud had 1,800 employees in 2013 and generated nearly $300
million in revenue in 2012.
In a phone interview with recode.net,
Benioff explained that he was planning to move an annual Salesforce
Marketing Cloud event to New York. Last year, Connections brought $8
million in spending to Indianapolis.
“Gov. Pence says he wants to bring
the tech industry to Indiana and to increase the number of
tech-related jobs in his state, but he doesn't seem to understand
that a significant portion of the tech industry is gay,” Benioff
said. “This is one of the most important industries in the country
and he has been advocating for us to expand and invest in Indiana,
but you can’t say that and then say you’re going to legalize
discrimination like this. The tech industry is not going to support
this kind of legislation and is going to react against it.”