The CEO of major U.S. corporation is following through on his warning to the State of Indiana to not pass a discriminatory "religious freedom" bill.
Salesforce, founded in 1999, has grown into a $4 billion software corporation. It is a component of the prestigious S&P 500, and boasts 12,000 employees.
50-year old CEO, founder, and chairman Marc Benioff (photo), who started the company in San Francisco, and his wife Lynne Krilich, have given millions to children's hospitals.
Recently, Salesforce came out strongly against Indiana's discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
"We have been an active member of the Indiana business community and a key job creator for more than a decade," Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud division, wrote in a letter to Indiana lawmakers. "Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees, regardless of gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation."
"Without an open business environment that welcomes all residents and visitors," he warned, "Salesforce will be unable to continue building on its tradition of marketing innovation in Indianapolis."
This morning, Republican Governor Mike Pence signed the controversial bill into law, despite vocal objections from Salesforce, along with Gen Con, a $50 million annual gaming convention, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana's tourism board, among many others.
Last night, after Gov. Pence announced he would be signing the bill into law, Benioff responded:
We are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in IN based on our employee's & customer's outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill.— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
Today, Salesforce's Marc Benioff made good on their warning.
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
And he went one step further, warning his fellow industry leaders:
Attention Tech CEOs/Industry: pay attn to what is happening in IN & how it will impact your employees & customers. http://t.co/SvTwyCZ8nc— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
UPDATE I – 2:00 PM EST:
CNN reports, "The chief executive of tech giant Salesforce told Pence that his company -- which had bought Indianapolis-based Exact Target for $2.5 billion in 2013 -- would abandon the state and its expansion plans there if he signed the measure into law."
Note: This article's headline has been updated to be more specific.