CEO of software giant Salesforce says he’ll help staff move out of Texas over abortion law

The CEO of Salesforce, a San Francisco-based software company offering a suite of business-related and marketing products, announced he will help any staffers move out of Texas following the passage of a law that bans abortions after fetal heart tones are detected.

Citing employees who may be concerned about access to “reproductive healthcare,” the offer was made by billionaire Marc Benioff on Twitter as he linked to a CNBC story detailing the offer.

“Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice,” Benioff tweeted, using the Hawaiian term [Ohana] for extended family.

The company sent a message through its Slack channel telling thousands of employees on Friday, “We stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.”

“These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us — especially women,” said the message, according to CNBC. “We recognize and respect that we all have deeply held and different perspectives.

“With that being said, if you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family,” the message continued, the financial news network added.

The offer comes in response to S8, the Texas Senate bill that became law in May and took effect earlier this month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 not to overturn it. The measure says that once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs around six weeks, a doctor cannot induce or perform an abortion outside of a medical emergency. The law allows citizens to file suit against anyone who aids and abets an abortion after a heartbeat is detected; plaintiffs can sue for ‘damages’ of $10,000 each.

Most tech companies, many of which have a presence in Texas — Salesforce has a location in Dallas — have largely remained silent about the law, though Uber and Lyft announced they would pay to defend any of their drivers who may be caught up in any legal action for taking a woman to get an abortion in violation of the law.

Interestingly, the offer from Benioff to move employees out of Texas comes as California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom faces a recall election on Tuesday. Newsom has tried to cast Texas in a negative light, saying the Golden State could become a mirror image of the Lone Star State if Republicans manage to win back political control. But, in fact, Texas lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott have frequently noted that more businesses are relocating to Texas from California than the other way around, to escape heavy taxes, skyrocketing home prices, and expensive, restrictive regulations.

Earlier in September, in fact, Abbott remarked that California is steadily losing population to surrounding states while businesses formerly headquartered there are leaving at a “record pace.”

“Texas policies attract people more than any other state,” Abbott contended, though Florida’s GOP Governor Ron DeSantis has said that his state is an increasingly popular destination for former residents of other blue enclaves like New York.

DeSantis has also said that the majority of new Florida residents are registering as Republicans.

Jon Dougherty

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