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As activist investors target Salesforce, what’s next for the CRM giant?


By any measure, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been a successful executive. He helped build Salesforce from the ground up, starting in an apartment in San Francisco in 1999 and eventually erecting Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in the city. He took the idea of running software in the cloud and grew it into the de facto way to deliver software at a time when most companies offered software in boxes or on-prem seat licenses.
That he helped transform the way software is bought and sold is undeniable. But he’s now under intense scrutiny: Not one but two activist investors have recently taken large positions in Salesforce, meaning his decisions could be challenged on everything from acquisitions to how budgets are allocated.
For starters, Starboard Value announced in October that it was taking a sizable (but undisclosed) stake in Salesforce. T …

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