Elliott Management Corp, the activist investment firm known for shaking things up at companies they invest in, has reportedly set its sights on Salesforce. According to sources, the firm plans to nominate several director candidates at the cloud-based software company. The move comes after Elliott recently made a substantial investment in Salesforce, signaling their intention to potentially influence the company’s direction. The firm is said to be interviewing a variety of potential candidates, including technology industry executives and executives from other industries.
This decision to prepare a slate of candidates to be nominated between February 12 and March 14, could indicate a shift in strategy for Elliott, who has a history of pushing for changes at companies they invest in, such as Pinterest, Twitter, and eBay. Despite this, Jesse Cohn, managing partner at Elliott, has stated that he is looking forward to working “constructively” with Salesforce and has “developed a deep respect” for the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, Marc Benioff.
It is not clear what specific changes Elliott Management Corp, the activist investment firm, is pushing for at Salesforce. The news that Elliott expects to nominate directors at the cloud-based software company, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, came after Bloomberg reported that Salesforce was considering refreshing its board, a step some companies take preemptively if activists start building holdings of their shares.
At Salesforce, there are at least four activist investors including Elliott, Starboard Value, Jeff Ubben’s Inclusive Capital and Value Act, sources familiar with the matter said. Representatives for the firms either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.
Recently, Salesforce announced plans to cut jobs by 10% and close some offices after rapid pandemic hiring left it with a bloated workforce. Starboard, which has held talks with the company, has called for better cost control but praised new executives including co-CEO Bret Taylor, who is leaving at the end of the month when Benioff will become the sole CEO. Investors have also pushed Salesforce to increase profits, buy back more shares, and raised some concerns about recent acquisitions.