Shareholder Confronts Salesforce CEO’s, Directors’ Hypocrisy | News Direct

Shareholder Confronts Salesforce CEO’s, Directors’ Hypocrisy NLPC Calls Out Benioff Over Using Company for His Personal Political Activism

News release by National Legal & Policy Center

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon Falls Church, VA | June 09, 2022 12:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Today, Paul Chesser, Director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s (NLPC) Corporate Integrity Project, presented remarks at Salesforce Inc.’s annual meeting to support a shareholder resolution the ethics group filed with the company.

The proposal would have required the board to implement a policy to require the chair of the board of directors to be an independent member. Currently Marc Benioff holds the roles of both Chairman and co-CEO.

The full text of Chesser’s remarks are below:

I’m Paul Chesser, director of the Corporate Integrity Project for National Legal and Policy Center.

Salesforce’s Chairman and CEO roles should be separated for good governance practice, but also in order to rein in the unaccountable Marc Benioff, who uses the company as his own personal political advocacy tool, and has for many years.

There is ZERO evidence that anyone tries to rein him in.

All indicators are that this board of directors is a facade – all for show, with no meaningful accountability for Mr. Benioff.

There is seemingly no progressive cause that he isn’t willing to throw his considerable corporate weight behind, without consequence to him.

I’m sure if he had to answer to a board that cared at all about the company’s reputation, instead of rubber-stamping Mr. Benioff’s political views, he wouldn’t be so bold.

He has famously meddled in religious conscious and personal liberty issues in states like Indiana, North Carolina, and Georgia.

He issues economic threats when he does so.

He has vocally opposed pro-life laws in Georgia and Texas.

He is strident and arrogant with his advocacy.

He has zero respect for religious liberty or the U.S. constitution – showing utter disdain for the First, Second and Tenth Amendments, among other American governing principles.

Then there’s his personal integrity, or lack thereof.

Of course, Mr. Benioff’s signature issue is climate change.

Yet he perpetuates the fraud that Salesforce, whose big service is cloud computing on massive, power-eating server farms, is at “100-percent renewable energy” in its operations.

If that was true, instead of the accounting and carbon indulgence shell game that it actually is, then Salesforce would be bankrupt.

Then there’s Mr. Benioff’s hypocrisy.

He thinks planting thousands of trees in China helps offset Salesforce’s greenhouse gas sins, but says nothing about that communist government’s ongoing build-out of coal-fired power plants.

And of course, like every other cowardly Big-Tech CEO, he says nothing about China’s genocide and human rights abuses.

Back home in the U.S., while he advocates for the little people to curtail their fossil fuel use as they pay $6 dollars a gallon for gasoline, he travels in his own personal jet, for which Salesforce reimbursed him $834,000 dollars during the past year for alleged “business use.”

Did that include the Davos trip, Mr. Benioff?

The company also covered for the cost of his personal security to the tune of more than $1.4 million dollars this past year.

Certainly this amount of security includes arming your protection with semiautomatic weapons.

Yet Mr. Benioff banned companies that sell such guns from using Salesforce products.

He also wants a ban on the popular defense weapon, the AR-15, which is among the country’s best-sellers for law-abiding citizens who look to protect themselves and their families.

Again, Salesforce takes care of the hypocrite Benioff, while the little people must fend for themselves.


“While he has serious competition, there is perhaps no one who uses his Big Tech company more to advance his personal progressive political agenda than Marc Benioff,” Chesser explains. “Unfortunately he has gotten away with it for years, due to cowardly responses from state politicians who feared big businesses’ threats to ‘boycott’ or leave their states. However, that trend is changing, as Gov. DeSantis has shown in Florida in response to Disney’s political activism.”

NLPC has filed more than two dozen shareholder resolutions this proxy season, and appeared at the annual meetings of Berkshire Hathaway, Disney, Coca-Cola, Amazon, Twitter, Meta, and many others.


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Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action.


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Paul Chesser


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National Legal and Policy CenterCorporate Integrity ProjectSalesforcePaul ChesserMarc Benioffclimate change