New Multibillion-Dollar Investment May Spark Change at Salesforce

Activist investor Elliott Management has seized a significant stake in Salesforce

New Multibillion-Dollar Investment May Spark Change at Salesforce
CRMLatest News

Published: January 27, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

Elliott Management Corp. has invested billions of dollars into Salesforce.

After a slew of bad news at the back end of 2022, the move shows that investors still see a significant opportunity for continued growth.

The markets reacted well to the announcement, despite releasing few additional details regarding the move, with Salesforce stock up 5.71 percent.

Yet, some worry that the investment will limit the autonomy of those at the top of the business.

Indeed, Elliott Management has earned a reputation for demanding change and calling out major businesses for various perceived shortfalls.

SSE can perhaps attest to this, with Elliott Management publicly attacking the business – which it has a significant stake in – over its green energy plans.

A statement from Jesse Cohn, Managing Partner at Elliott Management, suggested that the investor may also shake up the status quo at Salesforce – all be it “constructively”. He said:

We look forward to working constructively with Salesforce to realize the value befitting a company of its stature.

Some interpret this as increasing profit margins by cost-cutting, expecting Elliot Management to turn up the heat on the board.

One of these people is former Salesforce Consultant Valdas Stasevicius, who took to LinkedIn to make the following nine predictions for how the move may impact the CRM stalwart.

Some of these predictions may spread panic at Salesforce, especially those that insinuate more layoffs lie in the pipeline.

Indeed, it is only a matter of weeks since the business cut ten percent of its workforce.

Yet, there is an argument that suggests refocusing on its core CRM business is the best play, with some questioning the additions of Slack and MuleSoft to its portfolio.

Of course, these acquisitions have diversified the portfolio and – to some extent – driven revenues. Nevertheless, some will argue that they’ve created a disjointed go-to-market portfolio.

Whatever the case, it seems that Salesforce will soon undergo a prolonged readjustment period, with more large-scale acquisitions unlikely.

In this time, Salesforce may reconsider how it balances growth and profitability, with another of its investors – Starboard Value LP – arguing in October that the business should address this.

While it stopped short of demanding change, Elliott Management seems set to do that, with reports suggesting that it is already preparing to nominate a slate of directors to the Salesforce board.

So, watch this space, and let’s hope some of Stasevicius’s predictions don’t come to be.




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