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Inside the firing of a Salesforce executive who ignored Marc Benioff's company policy and took a board seat

Inside the firing of a Salesforce executive who ignored Marc Benioff's company policy and took a board seat

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff
REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage




Former Salesforce executive Niki Christoff posted on Twitter that the company "fired me for accepting a seat on a corporate board."




Salesforce has a policy that only allows its c-suite to serve on external corporate boards.




Christoff said the policy has an "obvious discriminatory impact on women."




Boardroom diversity is a hot topic in corporate America. Earlier this week, the Nasdaq said any company listed on their exchange has to have at least "two diverse directors."




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Last May, Niki Christoff was fired.The former Google and Uber executive had been Salesforce's SVP of Government Relations, lobbying in Washington DC on behalf of the company, when she received an opportunity to sit on the board of a cannabis company, MedMen. Cannabis regulation is a hot-button issue on Capitol Hill.Sitting on corporate boards is against Salesforce policy. Only Salesforce's c-suite, the majority of whom are men, are typically exempt.Christoff ultimately texted Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff that she intended to accept the board seat anyhow. She said she felt his policy had a discriminatory impact on women.
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