Salesforce buys Slack in $27 billion deal

Salesforce has bought communication platform Slack for $27.7 billion as part of its strategy to develop an extensive open ecosystem of apps and workflows for business.

Salesforce will combine Slack with its customer relationship management (CRM) platform ‘Salesforce Customer 360’ to create a new operating system for workforces.

The new system will merge Salesforce’s capability to enable companies to sell, service, market and conduct commerce from anywhere, with Slack’s ability to bring people, data and tools together so teams can collaborate remotely.

The CRM giant said the move has been driven by this year’s shift towards remote working and aims to deliver a unified platform to connect employees, customers and partners with the applications they use on a daily basis wherever they work.

"Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it,” said Marc Benioff, chair and chief executive of Salesforce. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.”

Stewart Butterfield, Slack chief executive and co-founder, said: “Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work.

“The opportunity we see together is massive. As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going.”
Stephen Kelly, chair of Tech Nation, commented on the acquisition: "Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack reflects that, for software companies, the adage “grow fast or die slowly” applies more than ever. As organic growth of its CRM market leadership slows, acquisition has been a core engine for revenue growth and innovation.

“Salesforce has done multiple innovation acquisitions, as well as buying companies with customer bases in adjacent markets. The acquisition of Slack reflects all of these basic drives and is an increasingly strong offer as the coronavirus pandemic forces workers to adopt new forms of communication and collaboration software, putting this at the heart of daily life for office workers."

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