The notoriously left-wing CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, stood in stunned silence when confronted with a question about the company’s lack of policy on political tolerance and viewpoint discrimination at the company’s annual investor meeting.
The question was posed by Justin Danhof, Director of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research, which frequently attends the public meetings of American corporations to question them on their growing political extremism.
For today’s annual meeting, I filed a shareholder resolution with the goal of having Salesforce amend its equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy to protect employees from potential viewpoint discrimination. Rather than doing so, the company petitioned the SEC, arguing that it was within its ordinary business operations to discriminate against its employees based on their ideological views. Given Silicon Valley’s well-known liberal leanings, combined with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s far-left public-facing statements and actions taken on behalf of the company, we are concerned that conservatives may face a hostile work environment at the company.
Furthermore, the company is ignoring the financial risks of viewpoint discrimination. Alphabet recently ended a years-long lawsuit for firing a conservative engineer.
Given all this, will you commit today to amend Salesforce’s EEO policy to explicitly protect against discrimination based on viewpoint and ideology?
For ten seconds, Benioff offered no response, even though he fired off many answers in response to other questions at the meeting. Eventually, Salesforce general counsel Amy Weaver chimed in, saying “[w]e have a longstanding belief that it is important to have diverse sets of views and policies within our company, and our employees reflect that.”
“The left is trying to do to corporate America what it’s done to academic for decades now,” said Justin Danhof in comments to Breitbart News.
“What the left is doing is trying to take over the tops of corporations, and that’s through corporate board placements — they’ve got search firms that identify only liberal candidates.”
“The other way you would go about taking over an organization is from the bottom up… It’s [like] college campuses where conservatives are very much silenced. You embolden the woke voices at the same time. You let the LGBTQ crowd protest your campus and demand change and demand action. You ‘give in’ to the woke crowd and you silence conservative voices.”
“You’re seeing the same thing happen on corporate campuses now. I’ve probably had probably around a hundred meetings a year with corporate leaders, across sectors… And I’ll ask them, why do you take any liberal [cause] seriously. Why do you fund planned parenthood? Why do you oppose the travel ban? Why do you oppose President Trump’s tax cuts? Every single answer I get is almost exactly the same, it’s ‘that’s what our employees want us to do.'”
“Especially in Silicon Valley, we’ve seen instances of conservatives being fired for speaking their truth.”
Danhof explained that he wanted to find solutions so that will help conservatives feel safe to speak out inside their far-left companies without risking their job security.
“I said look, let’s take a look at these companies’ EEO policy, because when lawsuits start that’s where they’re going to be based. I started filing resolutions to fix this bottom-up problem, as I see it.”
Danhof said that many companies have amended their EEO policies in response to his queries, but that Salesforce, led by its left-wing CEO, refused.
“Not only did [Salesforce] refuse, but they actually petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and sought approval to remove my proposal from the proxy.”
“They argued that it was within their ordinary business operations to be able to discriminate against their own employees based on their ideological viewpoints. You can’t make this stuff up!”
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.