Elliott Management has built a multibillion-dollar position in Salesforce, becoming the latest large activist investor to join the shareholder roster of a software company under pressure to cut costs and increase its stock price.
The New York-based firm joins fellow activist Starboard Value in calling for higher profit margins after revealing a stake in Salesforce in October. It was unclear what Elliott’s stance on the company was or whether it had made recommendations to the board.
The activist stakes will put additional pressure on Salesforce and its co-CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff. The company’s market value has dropped by about $170 billion since its peak in late 2021, owing to a retrenchment in the technology sector following a pandemic-driven boom.
“Salesforce is one of the world’s preeminent software companies, and after nearly two decades of following the company, we have developed a deep respect for Marc Benioff and what he has built,” Jesse Cohn, managing partner at Elliott, said in a statement. “We look forward to working constructively with Salesforce to realize the value that a company of Salesforce’s stature deserves.”
Salesforce did not respond to requests for comment. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report Elliott’s stake.
Elliott is a well-known Wall Street activist with a history of taking on technology companies. Under Cohn’s leadership, the firm has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most active software investors.
Through its private equity unit Evergreen Coast Capital, Elliott assisted in the acquisitions of enterprise software specialist Citrix Systems and media rating group Nielsen, two of the year’s largest leveraged buyouts.