At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, when hospitals in the Bay Area were already starting to run low on personal protective equipment (PPE), Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff mobilized his team and supply chain to do what the public sector was struggling to accomplish: delivering PPE to the medical professionals on the front lines of the virus.
Companies like Salesforce have access to connections and materials that state and federal leaders might not, and the agility of pre-existing supply chains have allowed them to mobilize these resources quickly. Through their connections to the Chinese market – as well as collaborations with companies like FedEx, Walmart, Uber, and Alibaba – Benioff and his ad hoc team (dubbing themselves “Maskforce”) were able to drum up 50 million pieces of PPE, costing $25 million. As of today, 15 million units have been delivered to hospitals.
As part of our COVID-19 Corporate Response Tracker, JUST Capital has been looking at whether companies have shifted their operations to prioritize the production, distribution, or logistical support for COVID-19 related products – including cleaning supplies, medical equipment, food, and PPE.
According to our findings, 58% of companies have shifted their operations – up from 36% on March 24. 17% of companies, like Salesforce, have specifically distributed or procured products to support the fight against COVID-19.
Salesforce’s efforts stand out not only for the team’s invaluable hours sourcing products, and their impact on the Bay Area medical community, but it’s worth noting that Benioff personally paid for the masks through his family office – an act of personal philanthropy paired with his company’s contribution.
You can explore how other companies are acting in this area in our Tracker – by selecting “Production, Distribution, or Logistical Support” in the “drill-down” drop-down menu. We are continuing to update this tool regularly, and are tracking other key impacts on communities – from community relief funds to supply chain impacts. Stay tuned for more.