Salesforce wants to make things super clear for everyone — no, the company won’t buy Twitter. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff gave an interview to the FT and said that the company ruled out the acquisition.
“In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Benioff told the FT. If you were looking for an official confirmation, it can’t get more official than that.
Two weeks ago, nearly all suitors announced at the same time that they weren’t interested by Twitter after all. Google, Apple and Disney don’t want to buy Twitter anymore. Salesforce was the last remaining suitor.
SAN FRANCISCO — The investor pressure began building on Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce.com, two weeks ago.
On Sept. 23, news broke that Mr. Benioff’s company was in discussions to buy the troubled social media company Twitter. Inside the offices of hedge funds and mutual fund companies on Wall Street and elsewhere, investors in Salesforce immediately began to question the rationale for buying Twitter. They were not happy.
The investors made their concerns known to Mr. Benioff. In emails and other communications, the shareholders told the chief executive and Salesforce’s investor relations team that they disapproved of a tie-up with Twitter.
The effort was led by Fidelity Investments, the mutual fund firm that is Salesforce’s largest shareholder, with about 14 percent of the company.
The pushback offers a window into how big investors can exert pressure on would-be deals behind the scenes. Salesforce is particularly vulnerable to what its large institutional investors think because the unprofitable online software company relies heavily on its stock to make acquisitions and pay employee compensation. As a result, the company needs to keep investors happy for its share price to continue going up.