One year after pushing Indiana legislators to back down on a controversial religious freedom law, Salesforce.com Inc. plans to invest $40 million in the state over the next decade, while boosting the size of its Indianapolis workforce by 50% in the next five years.
"We look forward to investing in Indiana," said Scott McCorkle, the chief executive of Salesforce's Marketing Cloud group, which sells online services that companies can use to build digital marketing campaigns.
The expansion will add 800 jobs to Salesforce's Marketing Cloud group, part of a world-wide expansion by the fast-growing company, which helped pioneer the business of selling access to application software over the Web. Salesforce is also adding hundreds of jobs in New York City and building a new headquarters in San Francisco, where its workforce will grow by 24% by the end of January of next year.
Salesforce, based in San Francisco, has 1,400 employees in Indianapolis, the result of its $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget Inc. three years ago. If it hits hiring targets, the company will receive $17.2 million in tax credits and $750,000 in training grants from the state.
The company sees growth ahead despite mixed financial results for technology companies so far this year. It recently revised its revenue projections upward to between $8.08 billion and $8.12 billion for its current fiscal year. Salesforce is expected to report quarterly earnings on May 18.
The expansion plan marks a turn in the relationship between the state of Indiana and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who in the past year has taken an activist role in pressuring state governments over civil rights issues. Relations turned stormy last spring, when Mr. Benioff campaigned against a controversial Indiana law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), signed in March 2015.
Supporters of gay rights opposed the law, saying it could lead to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. After its passage, Salesforce put the brakes on its Indiana business and began paying employees $50,000 to relocate out of the state.
The Indiana law was opposed by several companies with operations in Indiana, including Angie's List Inc., Anthem Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co. Amid the backlash, it was quickly amended to state that it didn't grant anyone the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Mr. McCorkle credited the Indiana legislature's action with paving the way for Salesforce's expansion in the state. "Had that original RFRA law not changed, we would not have been able to make further investment in Indiana," he said.
Write to Robert McMillan at Robert.Mcmillan@wsj.com