Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff has long had a vision of replacing email with new forms of collaboration software, though his attempts to build that future have mostly fizzled. Now it appears that Benioff might be on the verge of buying his way to that future, through a possible acquisition of Slack Technologies.
A Salesforce acquisition of Slack—talks for which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday morning—would represent the most aggressive move yet by Benioff, one of the most prodigious dealmakers in tech, to move up in the pecking order of enterprise software companies. It would represent a kick in the shins to a common Slack and Salesforce adversary—Microsoft—which is unlikely to launch a competing Slack bid due to regulatory obstacles. But a deal, which could cost more than $23 billion, could also help fulfill an elusive dream for Benioff that began in 2009.