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Salesforce announced Tuesday that it’s acquiring workplace chat app Slack for a whopping $27.7 billion in its largest deal to-date. The deal represents a much more aggressive foray into office communication technology for Salesforce as it adapts to the adoption of remote work and spurred the CEOs of both firms to send explanatory messages to their teams.
“Combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for our customers and the industry,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff sent in a note to Slack employees via Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, welcoming them to the company.
Butterfield also sent his own message to employees, reassuring them that Slack would remain true to itself while also being “part of something bigger”: “We’re not changing our roadmap, or our brand, or the way we do business. We will still recruit candidates to work at Slack. You will still work at Slack,” he wrote.
Slack will become an independent operating unit of Salesforce as part of the acquisition, with Butterfield as CEO.
“I’ve always said that in the long run, the measure of our success will be the amount of value we create for our customers,” Butterfield wrote. “The most important change here is going to be a big increase in our ability to create that value and fulfill that mission.”
For Salesforce employees, especially those who, pre-pandemic, worked from its massive tower headquarters in San Francisco, Slack was already top of mind: The companies’ offices are just blocks apart, as Benioff acknowledged in a note to workers.
“We can wave to each from our offices,” he wrote. “Together, we’ll shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.”
Read all emails and messages in full below, as published by the SEC:
Benioff’s email to Salesforce employees
“Today is a big day for Salesforce. We announced another record quarter and signed a definitive agreement to acquire Slack, the most innovative enterprise communications platform.
Q3 was a phenomenal quarter, and now we’re raising our FY21 guidance to $21.11 billion at the high end and initiating FY22 guidance at $25.5 billion. No other major enterprise software company is growing at this rate.
We’re rapidly moving to an all-digital world, where work happens wherever people are. Our results are being driven by the success of our customers and the relevance of our Customer 360 Platform in this new normal.
Companies like Prudential, Accenture, NBC Universal, Telefonica and Zoom, along with governments like the State of California, chose Salesforce in the quarter to help them succeed and grow.
I couldn’t be more excited about our agreement to acquire Slack. Stewart Butterfield and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it. Salesforce and Slack are also neighbors in San Francisco—we can wave to each from our offices.
This is a match made in heaven. Together, we’ll shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.
Combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for our customers and the industry—creating the operating system for the new way to work. Together, we’ll give companies a single source of truth for their business, and a unified platform for connecting employees, customers and partners with each other and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows.
We look forward to welcoming the Slack team to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of FY22.
You can find more information about the Slack news in our press release and employee FAQ.
I also want you to know that our Chief Financial Officer, Mark Hawkins, has decided to retire. He’ll remain our CFO through the end of our fiscal year, which ends January 31.
At that point, Amy Weaver, currently our president and Chief Legal Officer, will become our president and CFO. Mark will remain with us as an advisor through October 2021, giving us plenty of time to ensure a smooth transition.
I want to thank Mark for his important role in our success over the past six years. I’m forever grateful for his leadership and friendship. I’m equally grateful that we have such a strong leader in Amy to turn to as our next CFO. She has played an integral role in the operations of our company as we’ve scaled, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her as our next CFO.
Finally, I want to invite you to tune in at 9:40 a.m. PT tomorrow for our first-ever virtual Dreamforce keynote — to hear more about Slack and watch as we celebrate our customers’ success and unveil even more new innovations across Customer 360.
Bret Taylor and I are going to be there live—with every COVID safety protocol followed—joined virtually by special guests from the State of Rhode Island, AT&T, and Bentley Motors to discuss their learnings in managing their organizations through this period. We’ll also be joined by Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to talk about today’s news.
Thank you for all of your incredible contributions!
Butterfield’s message to Slack employees:
“As you might have seen (if you were not working and instead watching press releases go across the wire): we just announced that Salesforce is acquiring Slack. You can read the press release here. (link to: https://slack.com/blog/news/salesforce-signs-definitive-agreement-to-acquire-slack)
That’s a pretty big news bomb. If your head is spinning, I’m sure you’re not alone 🙂
:anchor: So here’s an anchor: We’ll still be Slack. I’ll still be the CEO. Our mission, vision, objectives, priorities, values and ambitions remain the same.
We’re not changing our roadmap, or our brand, or the way we do business. We will still recruit candidates to work at Slack. You will still work at Slack.
But at the same time we’ll be part of something bigger. Salesforce invented the Cloud and, through the course of its first and second decades, has retained the Heavyweight Championship title.
Combining our strengths with their perfectly complementary strengths will allow our customers to realize the full potential of our platforms. Their scale will propel us forward. Slack Connect will create entirely new opportunities for the core suite of CRM products. It will be transformative.
And over time, some other things will change. But not that much. (Have a look at https://www.mulesoft.com/ and http://www.tableau.com, the websites of Salesforce’s last two large acquisitions to get a sense of what it will look like to the outside world. Check out the jobs pages, the about pages, and the way they talk about their products.)
And in any case, nothing will change overnight. We have entered into a “definitive agreement” to be acquired, but it doesn’t close until it closes. And until it closes there are strict limits on how we can work together. We’ll still both be customers and partners of one another, and we can strategize and discuss plans for what we might do post closing, but not much else.
So you can expect business as usual until the transaction’s anticipated close in the second quarter of FY22, subject to Slack stockholder approval, receipt of required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
I’m sure you have many questions, and I promise there will be plentiful opportunities to raise them. Details on what to expect in the weeks ahead, including two company town halls tomorrow, will shortly follow this message, so watch this space.
So far the number one question I’ve personally received has been “are you excited about this?” If it’s not already obvious, the answer is a big, proud, ambitious, optimistic “yes!” I think this is going to be great for customers, for stockholders, and for all of you. The last five years have been amazing. I expect the next five years are going to be bigger and bolder and even more fun, and I believe the impact will be enormous. I think we will redefine how people work together for the better.
I’ve always said that in the long run, the measure of our success will be the amount of value we create for our customers. When we first introduced Slack to the world nearly seven years ago, we declared our mission was to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive. The most important change here is going to be a big increase in our ability to create that value and fulfill that mission. I am incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished together so far, and equally excited about continuing to lead Slack and build the future with you all over the decade to come.
There is far too much substance here to convey in a single post and, in any case, we don’t yet know all the answers. So I will leave you with this: Our customers and partners are counting on us the same today and tomorrow as they did yesterday. We must continue to run our business and deliver without missing a beat. I believe in this deal because I think it is possible for the combination of us and Salesforce to be a “1+1=7″ but for today we have features to build and products to sell and customers to help and a business to operate. Let’s go!”
Benioff’s message to Slack employees
“Stewart—Congratulations to you and the entire Slack team! This is a monumental day for our companies, our customers and the industry.
Will you please pass this note along to your team?
We’re thrilled by the opportunity to bring Salesforce together with Slack. Combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for our customers and the industry — creating the operating system for the new way to work, a single source of truth for a company’s customers and employees, and a unified platform for connecting everyone inside and outside of a company with each other and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows.
I hope you’ll tune into tomorrow at 9:30am PT, when Stewart will be joining our virtual Dreamforce keynote, alongside Salesforce President & COO Bret Taylor and I. We’ll also be joined by special guests to celebrate our customers’ success and unveil new innovations across Customer 360.
And on December 4, Bret will join Stewart for a fireside chat to share more about our vision for the future. Bret joined Salesforce in 2016 via the acquisition of Quip, which he co-founded. Prior to Quip, Bret served as Chief Technology Officer of Facebook, where he was credited with the invention of the “like” button. Bret started his career at Google, where he co-created Google Maps. Please join us: https://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/
I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to this phenomenal company. I’m inspired by what you’ve built and we’re excited to welcome the Slack team to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.