This case features CRM technology firm Salesforce, and its CEO, Marc Benioff. In 2015, the state of Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was signed into law by then governor Mike Pence. The RFRA was criticized as legalizing blatant discrimination of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) community. Because Salesforce had recently expanded to Indianapolis and anticipated future growth there, Benioff decided to ban company travel to the state and threatened to reduce the company’s presence in Indiana if RFRA was not repealed. Salesforce was joined by many other large corporations in vocalizing disagreement with RFRA and threatening to reduce or eliminate investment in Indiana.
The case explores Benioff’s decision to take a public and aggressive stand against the new Indiana law. Some disagreed with Benioff’s extreme action that put the company at risk. Others applauded him for taking a stand.