Salesforce CEO regrets laying off 7,000 Employees on 2-hour call

Salesforce Layoffs

In a recent development, Salesforce, a technology behemoth of global repute, has announced that it will be laying off approximately 7,000 workers, which corresponds to almost 10% of its total workforce. The rationale behind this massive reduction in personnel has been attributed to the pervasive and intricate macroeconomic conditions present across the world, coupled with the fact that the company had gone overboard with its recruitment drive during the pandemic. The manner in which this decision was implemented has garnered widespread criticism, and the employees have expressed their disappointment with the way the layoffs were conducted. The CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, has also voiced his regret with regards to the execution of these layoffs. 

The intent of this blog post is to delve deep into the Salesforce layoffs and evaluate the effects that it has had on the employees as well as the organization. Additionally, we will scrutinize the causes behind this layoff, and scrutinize the response from both the employees and the management of Salesforce. We cordially invite you to join us as we take a closer look at the aftermath of the Salesforce layoffs, and ponder over the valuable lessons that can be gleaned from this situation.

Background on Salesforce Layoff

The recent announcement of layoffs by Salesforce sent shockwaves throughout the tech industry, as approximately 7,000 employees – amounting to 10% of the workforce – were terminated in a single day. The move was primarily attributed to global macroeconomic conditions that have impacted businesses worldwide, including Salesforce, which, like many other companies, has been grappling with the challenges posed by the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

However, the layoffs were not entirely unexpected, as in recent months, Salesforce had been experiencing a slowdown in growth, with revenues falling short of expectations. Moreover, the company had engaged in over-hiring during the pandemic, and as the situation improved, it was forced to adjust its workforce to align with its business needs.

In a letter to employees, CEO Marc Benioff accepted responsibility for the layoffs, acknowledging that the company had engaged in excessive hiring, leading to an economic downturn. Despite the challenging nature of the decision, Benioff emphasized that the company had to take action to ensure long-term sustainability.

The decision to terminate so many employees also had a significant impact on the morale of the remaining workforce, as many employees expressed their disappointment with the way the layoffs were handled and the lack of transparency around the decision-making process.

In response to the layoffs, Salesforce offered generous severance packages to affected employees, including a minimum of almost five months of pay, health insurance, career resources, and other benefits to aid in the transition. Additionally, the company extended support to employees working in other countries, ensuring that their local processes aligned with employment laws.

In summary, the Salesforce layoffs were a significant blow to the company and its employees, as the move was a necessary step to ensure long-term sustainability, albeit executed in a manner that has led to criticism and disappointment. In the next section, we will explore CEO Marc Benioff’s recent comments expressing regret for the way the layoffs were handled.

Salesforce CEO Benioff’s Regret

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has recently made known his regret over the way in which the company’s recent layoffs were carried out. During a recent interview with The New York Times, Benioff acknowledged that the decision to let go of 7,000 employees during a 2-hour all-hands meeting over a call was a mistake. The CEO stated that explaining the inexplicable was a difficult task, and the company had paid a price for the way the layoffs were handled.

While the decision to carry out layoffs was a necessary but tough call, the way in which they were executed left many employees disillusioned and feeling let down by the company. Employees accused Benioff of being evasive and not providing sufficient transparency about the decision-making process.

In response to the criticism, Benioff stated that he wished he could offer lifetime employment to all employees, but as a big company with over 80,000 employees, there will inevitably be times when headcount adjustments need to be made.

Despite the expression of regret by Benioff, the damage has already been done. The layoffs have significantly impacted the morale of the remaining workforce and have also affected the perception of Salesforce as an employer. The way the layoffs were carried out has led to calls for greater transparency and communication from the company to ensure that employees are better prepared for such eventualities in the future.

To support the employees affected by the layoffs, Salesforce provided generous severance packages, including a minimum of nearly 5 months of pay, health insurance, career resources, and other benefits to aid with the transition. The company also extended support to employees working in other countries, ensuring that their local processes align with employment laws.

Salesforce Layoffs: Employee Response

The shocking Salesforce layoffs, which impacted approximately 7,000 employees across the globe, generated an unfavorable response from the workforce due to the company’s inadequate handling of the situation. The lack of satisfaction from employees towards the CEO’s explanation, Marc Benioff, was in part due to his evasive and non-transparent demeanor during the meeting that disclosed the layoffs. Instead of providing answers that satisfied the employees, the CEO was accused of being opaque and unresponsive, leaving them with lingering doubts about the decision to release them and the criteria used for selecting who was to be let go.

The abruptness of the layoffs was also a cause for surprise, especially given the company’s announcement of record earnings earlier in the year. The timing of the layoffs, alongside the company’s justification citing the adverse global economic conditions, was a source of confusion and frustration for employees, who were left feeling uncertain and powerless.

While some employees were grateful for the offered severance packages, the amount of compensation was deemed insufficient by others. The announcement of the layoffs during a two-hour call that involved a large group of employees also intensified the stress and discomfort that they experienced during this period.

In response, many of the affected employees utilized social media platforms to express their dissatisfaction with the company’s handling of the situation, feeling that the layoffs were unjustified and that the timing was inappropriate considering the ongoing pandemic and global economic uncertainty.


The negative feedback from the employees had a detrimental impact on the company’s reputation, and the CEO expressed regret in a recent interview with The New York Times. Marc Benioff admitted that the manner in which the layoffs were executed was a terrible idea.


Despite the CEO’s admittance of remorse, the employees are still struggling to come to terms with the layoffs and the way they were handled. Many are hopeful that the company will implement measures to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future and that employees will be treated with more transparency and respect.


The denouement of the Salesforce layoffs has had a momentous and substantial impact on not only the company itself but also its employees and the tech industry in its entirety. The decision to carry out the mass layoff of approximately 10% of the workforce was prompted by the relentless and continuous macroeconomic conditions that are inextricably linked with the global economy. The economic instability precipitated a colossal reduction in revenue, which left the company with no other option but to make this tough call.

However, the methodology and execution of the layoffs, as well as the mode of communication, raised a cause for alarm and warranted the attention of the company’s CEO, Marc Benioff. His expression of remorse regarding the layoffs was a reflection of the deep concern that was felt by all stakeholders involved.

Although the unfortunate layoffs were inevitable, the company still made significant efforts to alleviate the impact on the affected employees by providing them with generous severance packages. The packages included a minimum of almost five months of pay, healthcare coverage, and other essential benefits that were designed to cushion the effects of the transition.


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