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October 17, 2016

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff walks away from Twitter

By Ellie Burns

Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, has followed a host of other companies by ruling out his company as a bidder for Twitter.

It is looking like there is no one left at the table for Twitter, with Salesforce following other companies like Walt Disney and Google in pulling out of any potential deal.

marc-benioff

Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Benioff said: “In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us.” The news prompted Twitter shares to fall more than 5%, while Salesforce shares were up 5.2% at close of trade in New York.

Although reports have claimed that Twitter is still looking for potential bidders, Salesforce was considered the only serious contender after the likes of Google jumped ship early on in the takeover process. A person close to Twitter’s senior management, reported the FT, said that the sale process is virtually dead following Salesforce pulling out.

Benioff had previously been vocal about his interest in Twitter, saying to CNBC that ‘it’s in our interest to look at everything.’ Having lost out on LinkedIn to Microsoft, many thought that Salesforce was trying to grab a big social giant as compensation for the LinkedIn loss. However, shareholders did not agree, with Mr Benioff having to try and calm investors at an analyst meeting. However, having been asked if the price was a factor in Salesforce dropping its pursuit of Twitter, the CEO again reiterated to the FT:

“It’s not the right fit for us for many different reasons. You’re going to look at price, you’re going to look at culture, you’re going to look at everything.”

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