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The most recent example was Proposition C, which was on the November ballot in San Francisco.

The measure called on corporations in the city with revenue over $50 million to pay a tax of 0.5 percent of gross receipts towards homeless programs. Benioff committed almost $8 million to passing the bill, and between mid-October and election day, he tweeted about it more than 50 times.

With Block now having CEO-level authority, Benioff said he could afford to take two solid weeks to focus on Prop C, convening meetings in Salesforce Tower with local business leaders, non-profits and homelessness experts.

But something unexpected happened to give Benioff the momentum he said he needed.

“God sent me this angel from heaven — Jack Dorsey,” Benioff said. “And then,” he gestures with his hand to show an airplane taking off.

Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, took the other side of the issue, because of the higher tax on financial services like Square, which he said would struggle to stay in San Francisco. Other local entrepreneurs like Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and Zynga founder Marc Pincus joined Dorsey in siding with San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who opposed the measure because she said the city didn’t have the controls in place to ensure the money was spent wisely.

Benioff said that ultimately, “there’s people that want to give money to the homeless and people who don’t.” To those business leaders who opposed Prop C, “then I say, ‘what is your plan?’ Benioff said. “They didn’t have one.”

Prop C passed with about 60 percent support, and Benioff’s only regret was that he didn’t get started sooner. “We moved the numbers a huge amount in a short period of time he said,” he said. “It was crazy.”

The more Benioff’s profile grows the more questions arise about his future and his political ambitions. He’s been at least near the politics arena, hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in her 2016 run for president. Benioff told Recode’s Kara Swisher in a recent interview on MSNBC that he will never run for office. Yesil said “it’s a question that’s been asked of him for the last 20 years.”

If you take Benioff at his word, he has no plans to step back from day-to-day life at Salesforce, and sharing the top role with Block buys him more time to do the things he wants. He’s in the process of writing his fourth book, this one about Salesforce’s journey from $1 billion to $10 billion in sales, and is aiming to have it ready for Dreamforce 2019.

In working on the book and preparing for Salesforce’s upcoming 20th anniversary this year, Benioff has been reaching out to early employees for various artifacts and memorabilia. Tien Tzuo, Salesforce’s 11th employee who’s now founder and CEO of Zuora, said Benioff emailed him recently looking for hand drawn sketches of the original AppExchange, the company’s app marketplace that was launched in 2005.

“His emails are very short and very specific,” Tzuo said.



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Apple lays off over 200 from Project Titan autonomous vehicle group

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In August 2018, Apple enlisted a Tesla engineering vice president and Apple veteran, Doug Field, to lead the Titan team alongside Bob Mansfield. This week’s dismissals from the group were seen, internally, as anticipated restructuring under the relatively new leadership.

Other employees who were impacted by the restructuring of Project Titan are staying at Apple, but moving to different parts of the company.

Of late, Apple CEO Tim Cook has touted his company’s initiatives in health as the key to its future growth. “I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, “What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?” it will be about health,” Cook told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

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shares jump despite disappointing earnings

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Company Vice President Sean Kim said the memory demand slowdown would be bigger than expected into the first half of 2019 due to China’s economic slowdown and the U.S.-China “trade situation,” according to Reuters.

Kim’s comments came days after China announced that the country’s economic growth in 2018 was its slowest in nearly three decades. At the same time, Beijing and Washington are attempting to strike a deal amid an ongoing trade dispute which has seen the two largest economies in the world slap billions of dollars worth of tariffs on each other’s goods.

Some analysts were not surprised by the earnings report from SK Hynix.

“(The) results were as expected,” Daniel Yoo, head of global strategy at Kiwoom Securities, told CNBC in an email.

However, he warn that both SK Hynix and its rival Samsung were likely to see their operating profit for the first two quarters of 2019 coming in “less than half of last year’s record high(s).”

Yoo’s sentiments were echoed by Sanjeev Rana, a senior analyst at CLSA.

“I think we have a little bit more pain to go for the next two quarters,” Rana told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.

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Huawei CFO extradition could be complicated: ex-US ambassador to China

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“Whenever a chief executive starts to voice his or her thoughts on the case, that’s a huge additional complication for the prosecution,” Baucus added. “In this case, it’s President Trump’s statement with respect to the Meng case … it makes it harder for the prosecution to get the extradition.”

Earlier this week, Canadian newspaper Global and Mail reported that the U.S. has told Canada it will formally request for Meng’s extradition — though no timeline was specified.

For its part, China has demanded the U.S. drop the extradition request. According to Canada, Beijing detained more than a dozen of its citizens after Meng’s arrest.

Baucus warned that if the U.S. extradition request is granted, it would have a major impact on the U.S.-China relationship.

The world’s two largest economies had been embroiled in a trade war in recent months, which roiled markets and sparked concerns over the health of the global economy. Late last year, Beijing and Washington agreed to a temporary pause on applying new tariffs in order to work out a mutually agreeable trade deal.

Huawei is one of China’s largest companies. The U.S. government has for years taken issue with the tech giant over its alleged espionage ties to the Chinese government and has accused the company of intellectual property theft.

— Reuters and CNBC’s Kate Fazzini contributed to this report.

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