In a recent interview, StubHub president Sukhinder Singh Cassidy stressed that Silicon Valley “absolutely” has a role to play in tackling wealth inequality.
“Silicon Valley has a role to play, because I think as we pointed out, right, you can't talk about being the promoter of innovation without also… thinking about the repercussions,” Singh Cassidy said to Yahoo Finance.
“And as we know, the income inequality divide is getting bigger, not smaller. So does big tech have a role to play? Absolutely,” she said.
America’s top 10% average more than nine times as much in income than the bottom 90%, according to the website Inequality.org, which cited research on 2017 income in the U.S. from UC Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez.
And Americans in the top 1% average over 39 times more in income than the bottom 90%, according to Inequality.org.
Cassidy made the comments to Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that aired on Yahoo Finance in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
Singh Cassidy also pointed out that “there's some examples of what good might look like,” like SaleForce’s (CRM) founder and CEO Marc Benioff.
Benioff has been a vocal advocate for tackling homlessness in Silicon Valley. In 2019, he donated $30 million to UC San Francisco for a research initiative to examine the causes of homelessness and find ways to end it. The prior year, Benioff backed a ballot iniative that taxed San Francisco’s biggest businesses to fund homeless services.
Silicon Valley in particular, home of the tech revolution, has seen homelessness increase in recent years. In May, Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara County released a survey showing that homelessness had spiked by 31% between 2017 and 2019.
Working to solve such problems, Singh Cassidy noted, is the “responsibility of big tech as well.”
Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.