Twitter is currently out of companies interested in purchasing it, as Salesforce has bowed out after its chief executive Marc Benioff said that it “wasn’t the right fit for us.”
In an interview with the FT, Salesforce’s head put an end to speculation that the company would make a bid for Twitter, especially after many had stated that it would be a bad move for the enterprise company. Ahead of his Dreamforce keynote last week, Benioff brushed aside questions about Salesforce’s interest in Twitter, telling CNBC’s Jim Cramer, “When it comes to Twitter, you have to look at it like this: Number one, we look at everything.”
This is the first time the Salesforce CEO has publicly stated his company will not pursue a bid.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Twitter’s board would meet to discuss potential bidders, which had been rumored to be Google, the Walt Disney Co., and of course Salesforce. However, all of the companies mentioned have since indicated that they’re no longer interested in purchasing the company.
To make a purchase for Twitter would be a significant investment by Salesforce, which has recently made a bunch of high-profile purchases, such as its $2.8 billion grab of Demandware, $582 million deal for Quip, $534.6 million buy of data management company Krux, $110 million purchase of data analytics startup BeyondCore, and of course its $32.8 million gain of MetaMind — which played a big part in Salesforce’s A.I. push.
It’s also possible that Benioff’s supposed desire for Twitter was born out of his company losing out on acquiring LinkedIn to Microsoft. But when asked about why Salesforce passed on a bid, the charismatic CEO told the FT, “You’re going to look at price, you’re going to look at culture, you’re going to look at everything.”
Twitter is facing increasing pressure by shareholders about its sluggish growth and apparent inability to turn itself around. Company chief executive Jack Dorsey’s return to the company in 2015 was heralded as an effort to restore the former glory Twitter once had. He has put a flag in the ground over live moments, saying that the company has been focused on that space for 10 years.
The fate of Twitter is certainly a mixed one, depending on who you ask. Dorsey’s predecessor, Dick Costolo, recently opined that he felt that the company could be “a successful, independent company,” while early investor Chris Sacca revealed that he had been selling shares in Twitter: “I don’t see how it gets materially better over the next two years without fresh blood.” Twitter cofounder Biz Stone voiced support for Dorsey and said that Twitter could be a strong independent company.
But all doesn’t appear to be lost: Reports surfaced today that suggest SoftBank may be interested in Twitter. Let the games continue.
Shares in Twitter dropped by more than 5 percent in active trading following the news, while Salesforce’s rose 5 percent.