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Salesforce CEO says Dreamforce is staying in San Francisco after reaching deal with mayor

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Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, speaks during a keynote at the Dreamforce 2023 conference in San Francisco on Sept. 12, 2023.

Marlena Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Salesforce announced in a Tuesday social media post that the business software maker’s Dreamforce conference for customers and partners will remain in San Francisco for one more year.

The statement comes months after Marc Benioff, the company’s co-founder and CEO, told the San Francisco Chronicle the Dreamforce event that was planned for 2023 might be the last one in the city. Some other technology companies, such as Google and Oracle, have chosen to move their events elsewhere as media outlets have played up homelessness, drug use and theft in parts of the city.

Salesforce did wind up holding Dreamforce before a crowd of about 40,000 this year, and Benioff pointed to clean sidewalks and attendees feeling safe. Police officers and others had reportedly pushed unhoused people to migrate elsewhere. The crowd was much smaller than it was in 2019, when 171,000 people participated.

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This year’s conference, featuring OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and other guests, was slated to produce more than $89 million in economic activity. Now the city can boast about it sticking around for at least one more year. It will happen Sept. 17 through Sept. 19.

“We signed an extensive agreement with the city that outlined the key pieces we knew we needed!” Benioff told CNBC in a text message.

London Breed, San Francisco’s mayor, thanked Benioff in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that included a photo of the two, clad in Golden State Warriors basketball apparel.

In an X post of his own, Benioff said San Francisco is “now the AI capital of the world.” It’s home to OpenAI and other notable artificial intelligence startups, such as Adept AI and Anthropic. Salesforce used this year’s Dreamforce conference to show off AI capabilities integrating with technology from Anthropic and OpenAI.

San Francisco reported 620 accidental drug overdose deaths in 2022, down from 640 in 2021 and 725 in 2020. There were 7,754 homeless people in the city on Feb. 23, 2022, down from 8,035 on Jan. 24, 2019, municipal data showed. Banana Republic, Nordstrom and Whole Foods have closed locations downtown in recent months, adding to concerns.

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Source: CNBC

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