Salesforce flipflops from 'you're fired' to 'you're hired' in six short months

Recruitment U-turn down to search for growth and margins, CEO says

Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff has said the company plans to hire 3,300 new staff as it focuses on growth and margins – a little more than six months after the SaaS biz confirmed a 10 percent cull of its workforce.

The remarkable U-turn in the staffing policy followed January's news that it would lose about 7,000 jobs "to reduce operating costs, improve operating margins, and continue advancing the Company's ongoing commitment to profitable growth."

The plans were part of a turnaround package that was set to cost the CRM behemoth between $1.4 billion and $2.1 billion in charges.

However, speaking to Bloomberg, the ebullient Benioff said the company would hire 3,300 people in various departments.

"Our job is to grow the company and to continue to achieve great margins," Benioff said. "We know we have to hire thousands of people."

The new recruits are set to be divided between sales, engineering, and those working on the Salesforce Data Cloud product, chief operating officer Brian Millham said.

The Register has asked Salesforce for further comment.

In January, Benioff said the job losses were down to hiring "too many people" during the pandemic "leading into this economic downturn." The vendor's number of employees grew from 35,000 in 2019 to 49,000 in 2020 and 56,000 in 2021. In 2022, headcount rose above the 70,000 mark.

In July 2021, Salesforce bought Slack, the organizational collaboration and chat tool, but critics have claimed that it has struggled to integrate the technology with its core CRM tools in any meaningful way.

Since late January, activist investors have circled Salesforce, demanding more operational discipline and higher margins in line with other large software companies such as Oracle and Microsoft.

Earlier this week at its annual Dreamforce jamboree, Salesforce announced a slew of new technical features, including embedding its Einstein Copilot and Einstein Copilot Studio in Salesforce applications, and a development platform which promises companies the ability to connect any data to AI-powered CRM and build AI-powered apps with low-code. ®

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