Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, claims he doesn’t mind activist investors swarming his business, especially if they are knowledgeable.
Yet, he had some disparaging remarks about Vivek Ramaswamy, co-founder of Strive Asset Management and a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
Benioff called Ramaswamy “simply a politician” in an interview.
Everyone has the potential to be an activist, Benioff told Barron’s. “I’ll pick up the phone and call you and chat to you if you do hold one share of the stock. Yet, I don’t particularly like folks who use that concept for their own political ends.
As a politician, Benioff “is the one running his business.”
When Ramaswamy declared his candidature for president last month, he also resigned as executive chairman of Strive Asset Management.
Ramaswamy responded, “If he wants to be a politician, he shouldn’t utilise his perch as a software Executive to achieve it. Instead of using his firm to impose his political goals on everyone, he ought to follow my example and resign as CEO.
Salesforce leverages its business as a “platform for social change,” according to a conservative investor.
This Monday, Strive Asset Management’s president, Anson Frericks, encouraged Salesforce to quit using its company as a “platform for social change.”
In a letter to Benioff, Frericks said, “So-called’stakeholder capitalism’ is nothing more than an attitude that permits its CEO to brand himself as a ‘hero’ who is’sav[ing] the world,’ while leaving Salesforce stockholders holding the bag. It harms the millions of Americans who have invested in Salesforce to help protect their financial future and achieve their retirement objectives by choosing politics over profitability, race-baiting over revenue, and virtue signalling over value.
Requests for comment were not answered by Salesforce.
Salesforce employees ought to be treated with respect, equality, and decency, according to a statement from Strive Asset Management. Strive asserts that Salesforce’s imposition of a contentious political ideology on employees falls short of this threshold.
Conservatives target businesses for being “woke.”
An upsurge of conservative activism that targets firms on a variety of problems, including ESG (environmental, social, and governance standards), includes Strive Asset Management.
Republican populists like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have sharply criticised what they refer to as “corporate wokeness.”