Marc Benioff would buy Twitter if he could

Benioff, Salesforce (CRM) chairman and co-CEO, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an interview that if it were up to him, he would “absolutely” buy Twitter.

To be clear, it really won’t. “I will never buy Twitter,” Benioff told Harlow. “Just because I want something doesn’t mean I’m going to have it… I’d like to go get a sundae right now with three scoops of ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream and a cherry. But I’m not going to have it.”

Benioff added that he still believes Twitter is “the biggest brand, the biggest unrealized, the biggest underfunded brand” and that it’s “an amazing company, an amazing brand, an amazing platform, and can do incredible things for the future.” “I’ve always been in love with the product. I use it every day and I think it still has a lot of potential.”

Salesforce considered the Twitter deal in 2016. But that was not to be, as Salesforce investors balked at the idea of ​​taking over Twitter.

“When I went to buy Twitter and I was having those conversations, all my shareholders came to me and said, ‘You can stop that now. You’re not going to continue this vision,'” he said, adding that “it was tough.” moment for me.”

Salesforce made another bold deal, however, agreeing to buy employee collaboration app Slack for $27.7 billion in late 2020.
Benioff’s net worth is $6.2 billion, according to Forbes, while Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk is the richest person on the planet with a net worth of $254.6 billion.

Helping the planet and the workers

In addition to his comments on Twitter, Benioff also discussed with Harlow his concerns about what’s next for the global economy. Investors are also nervous. Salesforce shares are down more than 40% this year.

Benioff said that deflation in Japan and Europe are potential problems, and that he believes that Europe and the UK are going into “recession”. But he doesn’t think the US is in a recession.

Climate change, abortion rights and other topics were also discussed in the wide-ranging conversation. Benioff told Harlow that big companies like Salesforce, which is one of the top 30 stocks in the Dow, have a responsibility to do more to help the planet.
“We can use our businesses as platforms for change,” he said. “It’s about reducing emissions. It’s about all of us being net zero,” he said, adding that Salesforce is still a company that generates billions of dollars in revenue and profits, even as the company continues to do well.

“We can do it all. We can have very high revenues, very high profits, very high cash flows and we can manage it for all stakeholders,” he said. “That means we’re managing our employees, our customers, our communities, our homeless, and yes, the planet is an important stakeholder as well.”

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Benioff, the founder of Patagonia, made the decision to transfer his ownership and ensure that future profits go to environmental charities.

“I love what he’s done. I think [Salesforce] more needs to be done,” Benioff said.

Doing more also means supporting all of your employees, he added. Salesforce helped relocate workers in Indiana because of strict abortion laws, for example, and said the company has zero tolerance for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender preference.

“We have to stand for equality and dignity for every human being,” he said, “and if you’re not for equality and dignity … this is not something I can work on. And we will. you have to get out of your city or state.”