Billionaire and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is buying up Hawaii

While ordinary middle-class Americans are struggling to make ends meet to buy a home or even pay rent, American billionaires are busy buying up huge tracts of land around the world for reasons that are unclear. A striking example is Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, whose fortune is estimated at more than $10 billion. He is reportedly buying up large properties in Hawaii. For what? Nobody knows, and Benioff himself does not say why he needs these lands.



NPR was the first to report the news – the billionaire recently bought “at least 38 parcels of land” through six anonymous limited liability companies and one non-profit organization. These lands, most of which are on the Big Island and cover a large area of the city of Waimea, amount to almost 600 acres and are valued at almost $100 million.


Some of the land, about 223 acres, was donated last year to an affordable housing nonprofit. However, the purpose of acquiring the remaining plots remains a mystery. Journalist Dara Kerr, author of the NPR material, was able to interview Benioff at one of his residences on the island. Benioff spent most of the conversation talking about his charitable activities, avoiding direct questions about the acquired lands.



When Kerr finally asked about the plots, Benioff “began talking faster and fiddling with a piece of paper in his hands.” He was reluctant to list his holdings, and his adviser, who was present on the video call, interrupted, suggesting that they discuss it later.


Kerr also noted that Benioff knew an awful lot of details about her, including the area where she was staying in Hawaii, as well as personal information about her and her family. After the interview, Kerr felt “troubled” that Benioff’s goals for the land purchase were unclear.


Later, when Kerr and the photographer tried to photograph some of the mentioned objects, they were stopped by Benioff’s employee. Benioff himself texted Kerr that his employee “caught them spying” and then complained to the NPR CEO about the incident.


Benioff is not the only rich man involved in strange land purchases. A striking example was California Forever, an ambitious project to create a new city in the San Francisco Bay area, funded by Silicon Valley billionaires.

Other rich people are busy with similar plans. For example, 27-year-old Dryden Brown wants to build a “crypto city” with other people’s money. Former Walmart executive Marc Lohr plans a “sustainable” city in Appalachia. And rapper Kanye West dreams of his own city in the Middle East called DROAM.


Perhaps all these billionaires know something we haven’t heard about yet? In this regard, Hawaii is a fairly isolated place, far from many threats, both technological and social.


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