Activist investor Elliott takes stake in Slack owner Salesforce

Activist investor Elliott takes stake in Slack owner Salesforce

Activist investor Elliott takes stake in Slack owner Salesforce

Investment group typically buys stakes in underperforming firms and seeks changes to way they are run

The activist investor firm Elliott Investment Management has take a multibillion-dollar stake in Salesforce, the business software company that owns the Slack messaging platform.

Elliott, which typically buys stakes in underperforming companies and seeks changes to the way they are run, said it was looking forward to working “constructively” with the San Francisco-based company, without revealing any strategic proposals.

“We look forward to working constructively with Salesforce to realise the value befitting a company of its stature,” Jesse Cohn, a managing partner at Elliott, told Reuters.

Cohn, who has served on the boards of several technology companies including Twitter and eBay, called Salesforce “one of the pre-eminent software companies in the world”, adding that he has “developed a deep respect for [Salesforce co-CEO] Marc Benioff and what he has built”.

However, Elliott under the leadership of founder and co-CEO Paul Singer is known for wielding the aggressive tactics associated with activist firms. In 2021 the British drugs maker GlaxoSmithKline, now known as GSK, resisted attempts by Elliott to make Emma Walmsley reapply for her job before the company underwent a restructuring, while in the same year it accused the UK energy firm SSE of having a “lacklustre” business plan.

In 2012 a dispute with the Argentine state over sovereign debt owned by Elliott led to the temporary impounding of an Argentine naval ship in Ghana. Elliott also buys businesses and is the owner of UK bookshop chain Waterstones.


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