Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff slammed Facebook for asking its 'Supreme Court' to rule on Trump's suspension: 'This is your company'

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff slammed Facebook for asking its 'Supreme Court' to rule on Trump's suspension: 'This is your company'
  • Benioff said Facebook's board was right to pass the Trump case back to the company.
  • The executive also said CEOs shouldn't delegate their core values to outsiders.
  • The board refused Facebook's request to decide the duration of Trump's suspension.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called out Facebook over the company's decision to delegate a significant content moderation issue to its "Supreme Court" of independent reviewers.

He made the comments a week after Facebook's Oversight Board, which was created to review its moderation decisions, ruled that it would not decide how long former President Donald Trump would be suspended as the company asked it to do. Instead, that is Facebook's responsibility to decide, the board said.

Benioff said the board members were "right to punt it back" during an interview with the Wall Street Journal as part of the publication's "Future of Everything" event.

"They basically said, 'This is your company. You are the leader. You have this position. And you have to know what is right in your heart to do,'" he added. "'And if you cannot do that, then you probably should not be the CEO because that's a CEO's job.'"

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The Salesforce executive also said that CEOs should not delegate their core human values to outsiders but should instead embrace them as a leader.

"Great leaders throughout history are great leaders because they have encompassed and they have operationalized their values," Benioff told The Journal. "And that's what these CEOs need to do, and in no case can you say some board is going to tell me what my values are."

Benioff told the outlet that he'd advise Zuckerberg to prioritize trust and truth and hold his company and its leaders accountable.

At the same conference, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer was later interviewed and pushed back on Benioff's comments.

"That advice runs counter to what I think most people think, which is that things that are important in the world require oversight," Schroepfer told the Journal. "This is why you have regulatory bodies, this is why you have elected governments."


Facebook poured $130 million into its Oversight Board, which stood up in October. The group's members are not a part of the company's workforce and include individuals like Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former Prime Minister of Denmark.

Facebook indefinitely suspended Trump on January 7 after his supporters stormed the US Capitol to interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. The case was appealed to the board, which was asked to decide the duration of Trump's suspension.

And while it ruled that Facebook was right to de-platform Trump, it refused to name the time period for the indefinite expulsion, which was not a penalty that the company normally doled out. The board criticized Facebook for even asking it to do so.

"In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities," the Board wrote. "The Board declines Facebook's request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty."