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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff urges tech billionaires to combat homelessness

Benioff says you can't separate business from society.

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Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff is urging tech leaders to fight homelessness. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images)
Digital First Media/The Mercury

Silicon Valley tech moguls might disagree about the best way to help the area's homeless population, but Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff doesn't think now is the time for debate. 

"There is no ultimate solution and it's going to be a lot of things," Benioff said at the WIRED25 conference in San Francisco on Monday.

Last week, Benioff clashed with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over Proposition C, a November ballot initiative that would tax San Francisco's largest businesses to support homeless programs. But as the rise of wealthy tech firms pushes up housing costs, Benioff said businesses need to think about their stakeholders not only their shareholders. That includes public schools and the homeless population.

"I've gone, hat in hand to every high net worth individual in the city. I know who is willing to give money, and who isn't," he said.

While homelessness has been an ongoing problem in San Francisco, Benioff said that he thinks the situation is only getting worse and current programs are not enough. It's not only up to the government, but businesses to play their part.

"You're in two buckets. You're either for the homeless and for the kids or you're for yourself," Benioff said.

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