Salesforce Saturated

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. nyt

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.

Even though Salesforce is a 17-year-old company, in some ways Mr. Benioff still runs it like a start-up, making promises of boundless growth and equity riches for all employees.

Salesforce does not have much cash on hand — just over $1 billion as of the end of July — compared with other tech companies, which makes it important that shareholders continue to buy its stock and enhance its value. Unlike behemoths like Microsoft, Apple and Oracle, which can turn to their multibillion-dollar cash hoards for deals, Salesforce must use a combination of stock and borrowed money to buy companies.


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