Author: Brittany Adams| UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: February 12th, 2019 | Download PDF
After the midterm election, Marc Benioff, the co-CEO of Salesforce, celebrated the passage of San Francisco’s Proposition C on Twitter: “Prop C’s victory means the homeless will have a home & the help they truly need! Let the city come together in Love for those who need it most! . . .” Proposition C, which passed with approximately 60% of the vote, will provide the city with up to $300 million in additional funds to fight the city’s homelessness crisis by raising the gross receipts tax by an average of 0.5 percent for San Francisco companies that earn more than $50 million in revenue a year. As a result, Salesforce, which is headquartered in San Francisco, will pay approximately $10-11 million more in taxes annually.
Author: Julia Molo | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: February 6th, 2019 | Download PDF
Corporate governance has experienced a phenomenal transformation over the past several decades. The story of this shift, and Milton Friedman’s 1970 New York Times article heard around the world (or at least, the boardrooms of corporate America), are well-documented. Friedman’s article laid the intellectual foundation for the “shareholder primacy” revolution of the 1980s. In the decades since, Friedman’s view that the sole social responsibility of the firm is to maximize shareholder profits— leaving social and stakeholder concerns to individual bargaining and the government—has become sacrosanct in law, business, and academia. An impressive newspaper article, to say the least. (more…)
Author: Brenden Glapion | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: January 22nd, 2019 | Download PDF
In March of 2017, the number of publicly traded domestic companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges had hit its twenty year low of approximately three thousand, six hundred companies. Twenty years earlier the number was almost double in June of 1997 with seven thousand, six hundred publicly traded U.S. companies. Naturally, the decline in public companies and initial public offerings over this twenty year period was accompanied by a large growth in privately held companies. This decline not only resulted in an increase in private companies, but also an increase in “bigger” publicly held companies as a result of mergers and acquisitions and technological innovation. For example, at its peak, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, engaged in nearly one acquisition a week. (more…)
Author: Ken Taylor | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2020 | Posted: January 18th, 2019 | Download PDF
California governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 826 into law on September 30, 2018. The law requires publicly-traded companies incorporated in California to put at least one woman on their board under threat of penalty. In addition to the issue of constitutionality, there are numerous problems with this law.
Author(s): Caroline Soussloff | UC Berkeley School of Law | J.D. Candidate 2019 | Posted: January 10th, 2019 | Download PDF
In June, employees at Salesforce called for the company to withdraw its contract with US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in opposition to the agency’s implementation of the Trump administration’s policy of family separation. In an open letter to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, they decried their employer’s complicity in “the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people.” NGOs are backing their efforts. However, Benioff has so far declined to cancel the contract—despite his personal political convictions, which lean progressive, and his demonstrated willingness to use Salesforce as a vehicle for political activism in the past (in the context of LGBT rights). (more…)