Salesforce’s Benioff Escalates Microsoft Rivalry With Slack

(Bloomberg) — Salesforce.com Inc.’s $27.7 billion takeover of Slack Technologies Inc. represents co-founder Marc Benioff’s most aggressive effort yet to challenge reigning software maker Microsoft Corp.



a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Slack signage on a laptop computer in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Salesforce.com's expected purchase of Slack Technologies Inc. will likely be valued in the high $20 billions, according to the WSJ.


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Slack signage on a laptop computer in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Salesforce.com’s expected purchase of Slack Technologies Inc. will likely be valued in the high $20 billions, according to the WSJ.

The cash-and-stock deal, announced Tuesday and expected to close by July, will bring a workplace-communications application that’s grown more popular during the coronavirus pandemic to Salesforce’s ever-expanding platform. In the process, the app maker will come into greater conflict with the world’s largest software company, which offers a competing product named Teams.

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The purchase of Slack, an existing partner with less than $1 billion in annual revenue, fulfills Benioff’s long-held goal to make Salesforce’s software relevant to a broad swath of

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Salesforce’s Mega Bid For Slack Comes As CIOs Rethink Tech Needs For The Future Of Work

Much of the coverage of Salesforce’s decision to bid for Slack in a transaction valued at $27.7 billion has focused on the intense rivalry with Microsoft, whose Teams collaboration software offering has been outpacing Slack’s growth during the pandemic. But a significant shift is taking place in IT planning that creates an even more powerful commercial logic for the combination of the two software companies—and it’s a shift that’s likely to fuel more enterprise tech M&A in the year ahead.

CIOs and other tech leaders are now looking towards a future in which many more employees are allowed to work remotely for all or part of every week than before the Covid-19 pandemic began. A recent report from research firm Forrester estimates that while less than a

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Salesforce’s $27.7B Slack deal combines two Amazon allies, creates big new rival for Microsoft

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calls it a “match made in heaven.” (GeekWire Illustration / Photo by Kevin Lisota)

Salesforce confirmed its plan to acquire Slack and revealed the purchase price, $27.7 billion in cash and stock, perhaps not coincidentally topping Microsoft’s $26.2 billion LinkedIn acquisition in the rankings of the largest tech deals of all time.

If the deal works out as Marc Benioff and Stewart Butterfield hope, it won’t be the last time the two San Francisco companies best the Redmond tech giant.

Salesforce and Slack “will shape the future of enterprise software,” said Benioff, the Salesforce CEO, in a statement announcing the deal.

“The opportunity we see together is massive,” added Butterfield, the Slack CEO.

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Salesforce’s Earnings and the Slack Deal: 7 Important Things That Were Shared

Salesforce.com (CRM) not only announced its quarterly results and guidance after the bell, a CFO change, its outlook for its next fiscal year and its much-rumored deal to acquire Slack (WORK) .

Here’s a run-down of important things announced by Salesforce and Slack on a very eventful Tuesday afternoon for the companies.

1. Salesforce’s Results and Guidance

Salesforce reported October quarter (fiscal third quarter) revenue of $5.42 billion (up 20% annually) and — excluding an $0.86 accounting gain largely related to Salesforce’s stake in Snowflake (SNOW)  — non-GAAP EPS of $0.88. Those numbers respectively topped FactSet consensus estimates of $5.25 billion and $0.75.

The cloud CRM software giant guided for January quarter revenue of $5.665 billion to $5.675 billion (up 17% annually) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.73 to $0.74. Revenue guidance is above a $5.51 billion consensus, while EPS guidance is below an $0.86 consensus due to plans for aggressive

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Salesforce’s Slack Purchase Would Mark An Abrupt About-Face For Benioff

At the end of this year’s second quarter, Marc Benioff was adamant that it is a bad time for Salesforce to buy companies. 

“We’re not in a good M&A environment,” the Salesforce CEO and chairman told investors during an earnings call in August. “This isn’t part of our plan right now. We don’t see that. We really see focusing on our business.”

So it came as a surprise to observers that Salesforce is in advanced talks to buy Slack, the workplace instant messaging startup. Salesforce is reportedly expected to announce the deal after market close Tuesday when it reports third quarter earnings. It is expected to price Slack at a premium above its current $24 billion market cap, in a half cash, half

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Takeaways from Salesforce’s ‘Trends in Professional Services’ report

  • Salesforce’s “Trends in Professional Services” report draws upon data from its double-blind “State of Sales” survey of nearly 6,000 sales professionals — including 655 in professional services
  • The report, which is available in e-book form, gives a glimpse into business development in a very client-focused industry during a pivotal moment of change
  • Download the full “Trends in Professional Services” report here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the evolution of what was already a rapidly-changing professional services industry. The release of Salesforce’s new “Trends in Professional Services” report promises to be an invaluable tool for organizations and professionals who need to adapt wisely — and quickly. 

“We’re excited, as this is the first time we’ve really looked at this industry in detail,” Lamonte Brown, VP of commercial sales for Salesforce, explained during a recent virtual event discussing top trends from the report. “We think this industry matters. Services are only becoming

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New Seattle Metro Chamber CEO; Salesforce’s data chief joins Microsoft; and more

— The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced Rachel Smith as the business association’s new CEO. She starts in January.



a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Rachel Smith. (Seattle Metro Chamber Photo)


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Rachel Smith. (Seattle Metro Chamber Photo)

“The jobs, prosperity, and community solutions that our region’s employers bring are more important than ever as we focus on post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Smith.

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Smith is currently King County’s deputy executive and chief of staff for King County Executive Dow Constantine. Following Smith’s appointment, Constantine named April Putney as his new chief of staff.

Prior to joining the King County administration, Smith was the government and community relations officer for Sound Transit and Climate Action Now coordinator for City of Seattle.

Smith succeeds Marilyn Strickland, former mayor of Tacoma, who stepped down in January to run for Congress. Strickland won Washington’s 10th Congressional District seat in November.

— Microsoft hired Hernán Asorey as corporate vice president and

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Salesforce’s push to improve equality has yielded slow results so far

  • Salesforce is known as a leader on social change, exemplified by hiring Tony Prophet as its first ever chief equality office in 2016.
  • There’s no clear roadmap for businesses to follow when changing diversity and progress is often slow, but in four years, Salesforce’s diversity numbers have barely budged. 
  • Business Insider spoke to 18 current and former Salesforce employees, diversity and inclusion experts, as well as Prophet himself to learn how Salesforce’s Office of Equality operates and why its hasn’t seen faster results. 
  • Are you a Salesforce employee? Contact these reporters via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-309-265-6120 or 925-364-4258) or email ([email protected][email protected]).
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When employees arrive at Salesforce’s imposing 61-story tower in San Francisco’s South of Market district, it’s not uncommon to be greeted by Tony Prophet. The 58-year old executive, impeccably-dressed, regularly works the lobby like

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Microsoft just poached Salesforce’s chief data officer

  • Microsoft hired Salesforce chief data officer Hernan Asorey to take the same role within its commercial business unit, according to the executive’s LinkedIn.
  • At Salesforce, Asorey was the first to hold the chief data officer role, and was responsible for the company’s data-driven products — helping to scale its Einstein line of AI products.
  • The hire comes as Microsoft steps up its efforts to gain ground on Salesforce, the market-leading CRM tool.
  • Microsoft and Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
  • Are you a Salesforce or Microsoft employee? Contact these reporters via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-309-265-6120 or 925-364-4258) or email ([email protected], [email protected]).
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Microsoft has tapped Salesforce first-ever chief data officer Hernan Asorey to take the same role within its commercial business unit, according to the exec’s LinkedIn profile.

The key hire comes as the battle intensifies between the

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