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Remember those Salesforce layoffs after that bumper Q2? Yeah, forget that, SaaS player set to hire 12,000 staff

What goes up must come down. Or is it the other way round?

Just weeks after Salesforce reported huge Q2 profits only to lighten the company payroll by more than 1,000 staff, the badass of CRM software has now said it plans to hire 12,000 or more people over the next year.

In a tweet, CEO Marc Benioff declared that he was in hiring mode.

“Salesforce will add 4K jobs over the next 6 months & 12K over the next year. Join our 54K employee strong Ohana defining the future of software. Salesforce is the worlds fastest growing Top 5 enterprise software company,” he vowed

Although some are reading that as 16,000 new employees, only a cynic would suggest Benioff wanted to make his numbers look bigger and better than they actually are by counting some of the new hires twice. Salesforce has not responded to a request for clarity.

It is not clear either that the workers would be entirely new.

In August, the CRM biz celebrated record revenues and bumper profit by confirming it was going to eject 1,000 workers – about two per cent of its headcount. The company said the departures would mostly come from the businesses Salesforce bought out in recent years, including Datorama, ExactTarget, MuleSoft and Tableau, the analytics and visualisation company bought for $15.7bn in 2019.

At the time of the lay-offs last month, Salesforce said those affected would be given two months to find another role at the company. So, they may get a chance to get one of the new positions. If not, they have four-and-a-half months of severance pay to look forward to.

Benioff pocketed $2.3m in April as Salesforce decided to award him a sizable bonus for company performance. Still it made up just a tiny fraction of his estimated $6.5bn net worth.

The reason for the fire and hire strategy is unclear. In its Q2 ended 31 July, Salesforce announced $5.15bn in revenue, up 29 per cent year-on-year, while profit reached $2.63bn from $91m in the prior year. The financial strength caused the company’s share price to leap by an almost unprecedented 25 per cent.

With the duplication in roles from merging companies, it is possible there is a need to reduce the headcount. Or it could be that the bottom percentage of sales people were ditched. The hiring could be to keep pace with business demand: it's been a good year for Salesforce so far.

Those able to remain part of Benioff’s gang, at least those who are American citizens, can look forward to exercising their rights to suffrage come November. The CEO took time between tweeting about his “spiritual path” and general well-being to say employees worldwide would be given time-off to vote in the forthcoming US elections. ®

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