Marc Benioff is obsessed with Twitter. So much that he wishes he owned it.
To be clear, he’s not really going to do it. “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 have 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 thinks Twitter is “the biggest, most unrealized, most unmonetized brand” in tech and that “it’s a great company, a great brand, a great platform and incredible can do things for the future”, adding that “I have always been in love with the product. I use it every day and I am convinced that it still has enormous potential.”
Salesforce considered a Twitter deal in 2016. But it wasn’t to be, as Salesforce investors opposed the idea of a Twitter takeover.
“When I went to buy Twitter and I had those conversations, all my shareholders came up to me and said, ‘You can stop that now. You won’t pursue this vision,'” he said, adding that “it’s a difficult moment.” for me.”
However, Salesforce went ahead with another daring deal, agreeing: buy the Workforce collaboration app Slack for $27.7 billion at the end of 2020.
Benioff’s net worth is $6.2 billion, according to Forbeswhile Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk is the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $254.6 billion.
Aside from his Twitter comments, Benioff also discussed with Harlow his concerns about what’s next for the global economy. Investors are also clearly nervous. Shares of Salesforce have fallen more than 40% so far this year.
Benioff said deflation in Japan and Europe are potential problems, and he believes Europe and the UK are “falling into recession”. But he doesn’t think the US is in a recession.
Salesforce co-CEO: The planet is an important stakeholder
He also spoke about climate change, abortion rights and other topics in the extended interview. Benioff told Harlow that big companies like Salesforce, one of 30 stocks in the Dowhave a responsibility to do more to help the planet.
“We can use our companies for platforms for change,” he said. “It’s about reducing emissions. It’s about us all going net zero,” adding that Salesforce is still a company that generates billions of dollars in annual revenue and revenue, even as the company continues to focus on doing well.
“We can do it all. We can have super high revenue, super high profit, super high cash flow and we can manage it for all stakeholders,” he said. “That means we’re managing it for our employees, our customers, our communities, our homeless, and yes, the planet is an important stakeholder too.”
Benioff was inspired by the The founder of Patagonia‘s recent decision to transfer its ownership and ensure that the company’s future profits go to charities that focus on environmental issues.
“I like what he did. I think we [Salesforce] need to do more too,” said Benioff.
Doing more also means standing up for all your employees, he added. Sales team helped workers move in Indiana because of strict abortion laws, for example, and he said the company has no tolerance for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender preferences.
“We have to be 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 with. And we will have to leave your city or your state. ”