Salesforce is among the most acquisitive companies in the tech business, so it’s never a shocker when there’s rumor of it buying something. But a Wall Street Journal report that it has held talks to acquire Slack was a bombshell that sent Slack’s stock soaring and led to trading in Salesforce’s stock being suspended for volatility.
Little detail was available on the potential merger, and there are no guarantees that it will happen. Should it take place, it would likely be Salesforce’s largest acquisition ever. It would also represent a realignment of competitive forces within the business-software field, putting Salesforce into more direct competition with Microsoft, whose Teams is Slack’s closest rival.
Launched in 2013, Slack was originally an internal collaboration tool its creators devised to help them build an online game. It instead became the fastest-growing business in enterprise software history. It went public last year.
At the Fast Company Innovation Festival last month, I spoke with Slack cofounder and CEO Stewart Butterfield about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Slack’s customers, its employees, and its product roadmap.