Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Walks Away From Pursuing Twitter Deal

Salesforce's channel doesn't look to be up in arms over the CRM leader pulling the plug on negotiations to acquire Twitter.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told The Financial Times, in a report published Friday, that Twitter wasn't "the right fit" for the cloud software vendor, citing price, as well as other factors like company culture, as motivating his decision.

Last week, Benioff floated the idea of an acquisition at his company's Dreamforce conference.

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Aborting the possibility of an acquisition lifted Salesforce's stock price by roughly 4 percent in Friday trading. The news had the opposite effect on Twitter shares, which sank by more than 5 percent.

Salesforce partners reached by CRN were mostly ambivalent about the potential combination, even though there is a precedent for its competitors spending big on social media giants. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion earlier this year. As CRN reported at the time, Salesforce was one of the firms that bid for LinkedIn and lost.

Twitter, though, is a different type of platform -- 80 percent of its 313 million monthly users are on mobile devices, looking for instant news and personal updates. "It didn't seem to matter to the partner community," said Andy Atkins, founder and CEO of CRM Manager, a systems integrator headquartered in Philadelphia, Penn.

Twitter "would not have added business for us to work on," Atkins told CRN.

Some of Salesforce's largest stockholders were urging Benioff to walk away from the deal, not interested in having the enterprise cloud company take on a consumer platform that, while popular, did not have clear integration benefits.

While data generated by Twitter users could have proved useful for some sales and marketing applications, the consensus among investors was the price tag wasn't worth it.

The Financial Times reported, citing people close to the deal, that once Salesforce dropped out of the bidding, there were no more serious contenders looking to take Twitter over.