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Marc Benioff: We bought Time Magazine because 'business is the greatest platform for change'

September 26,2018 04:28

"When I went to business school, they said, 'Focus on your shareholder, Marc. The business of business is business.' That no longer applies. We have to erase that from our history books. The business of business is improving the state of the world ...



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Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne are buying Time Magazine not only because of its iconic brand and historic relevance, but because they hope to use the outlet as a "platform for change," the Salesforce.com chief told CNBC on Tuesday.
"Lynne and I so strongly believe that business is the greatest platform for change," Benioff, the chairman, co-founder and co-CEO of Salesforce, told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview.
With the $190 million all-cash purchase of Time, Benioff hopes to introduce new values to business that go beyond managing companies solely for the benefit of their shareholders.
"When I went to business school, they said, 'Focus on your shareholder, Marc. The business of business is business.' That no longer applies. We have to erase that from our history books. The business of business is improving the state of the world," Benioff said, speaking from Salesforce's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.
"We bought [Time] because that's an important institution that is having a positive global impact on the world and is deeply aligned with our family's values and we're delighted to be the new stewards of Time Magazine," the CEO continued.
The purchase is unrelated to Salesforce. A press release from Meredith Corp., which owns Time, said that the Benioffs "will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by TIME's current executive leadership team."
Even so, Benioff reiterated that as the leader of a major technology company, his values would remain top of mind in an age where giants like Facebook are criticized for eroding their customers' trust.
"Every CEO has to ask one very important question right now: What is most important to me?" Benioff said. "What is your highest value? What is truly important to you as a company? We know what ours is: trust. Nothing is more important than the trust we have with our customers, our employees, our key stakeholders like you. Trust is our highest value."
Benioff isn't be the first high-profile tech titan to buy a media company. The billionaire and his wife join the ranks of Jeff Bezos, Laurene Powell Jobs and others.
Salesforce's stock hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday, tapering its gains into the close. Shares stopped trading up just 0.06 percent at $158.87.

Watch Marc Benioff's full "Mad Money" interview here:

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Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Salesforce.com.

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