You may have read that Salesforce has let off over 8,000 already this year. Due to the economic crisis, many companies have had to do so. However, in the case of Salesforce, priorities may be askew with the company having just signed actor Matthew McConaughy onto a $10 million a year deal to serve as “creative adviser and TV pitchman”.
Last year, McConaughey starred in the company’s Super Bowl ad, donning an astronaut suit aboard a hot-air balloon. According to the Journal, Salesforce paid $5 million to run the ad, which its CEO, Marc Benioff, considered a small price compared with the company’s 70,000-person payroll.
Many have argued that the contract with McConaughey may stem from the company’s showy efforts to raise its profile over the years. In 2003, the company began hosting a days-long conference in downtown San Francisco that has drawn the likes of former President Barack Obama, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and the “Game of Thrones” actor Emilia Clarke.
Regarding the relationship to recent layoffs, it remains unclear as to what the terms of the contract are or when the contract even began. Representatives for Salesforce declined Insider’s request for a comment.
In an interview this week, Andy Serwer asked Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO and a friend of McConaughey’s, if it was fair to pay McConaughey that much while doing layoffs.
“Is it fair?” Benioff asked in response. “Years ago we signed a contract with Matthew to be our brand ambassador, to build a series of spots that have run on the Super Bowl and different kinds of things. He’s an incredible person. The work that he has done has been phenomenal. Any company would be thrilled to have Matthew McConaughey as their spokesperson and creative artist. If you have seen the work, it’s some of the best in the world, and it’s not related to our layoffs.