This latest move follows the lead of other activist investors, including Starboard Value, ValueAct Capital Partners, Elliott Investment Management, and Inclusive Capital, which have all taken shares in the San Francisco-based company.
Third Point, a New York-based firm led by CEO Dan Loeb, has a history of taking stakes in other companies, such as Campbell Soup, Walt Disney, and Shell, before pushing for changes.
Third Point has previously taken a stake in Intel, which led to the departure of CEO Bob Swan and the appointment of Pat Gelsinger.
Motives of the activist investors not clear yet
However, Elliott Management has a track record of taking publicly traded companies private, as seen in the recent case of Citrix. The activist investors could push Salesforce to make job cuts or divest some of its subsidiaries, such as Slack, MuleSoft, and Tableau.
Gerry Szatvanyi, the CEO of OSF Digital, a Salesforce partner in Québec, has expressed confidence in Salesforce’s leadership. Despite the slowdown in business, he still expects business growth of over 20% from 2022 to 2023. OSF has even announced the purchase of another Salesforce partner, Original Shift, as part of its growth strategy.
Demand for Salesforce technology remains high
Customers are eager to integrate different clouds and achieve higher returns on their technology investments. Like other tech vendors, Salesforce has faced moderate customer demand for digital tools in the wake of the pandemic.
The company announced layoffs of around 7,000 employees in January and has seen the departure of key leaders, including former co-CEO Bret Taylor and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. The company’s total market value dropped from $250.3 billion at the beginning of 2022 to $132.6 billion by the end of the year.
The activist investors may have already impacted Salesforce’s board of directors. Three new board members will join Salesforce on March 1, while two longstanding members will depart.