Salesforce leaves Twitter at altar, shares plunge

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Salesforce leaves Twitter at altar, shares plunge

The cloud software company was last remaining suitor for struggling social media company.

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Salesforce leaves Twitter at altar, shares plunge

Jessica Guynn , USA TODAY 1:45 p.m. EDT October 14, 2016
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Salesforce.com decides not to bid for Twitter.(Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO — Salesforce.com has left Twitter at the altar and the jilted company's shares are plunging.

The cloud software company was the last remaining suitor but it has decided not to go forward with a takeover bid, the Financial Times reported Friday.

“In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, told the newspaper.

Twitter still has options other than staying independent. It could explore a buyout from private investors or an activist could try to force the board to negotiate a sale, but neither scenario looks likely now.

Now pressure will crank up again on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to reignite growth at the company.

Salesforce had come under pressure of its own from investors who did not want the company to buy Twitter.

“It’s not the right fit for us for many different reasons,” Benioff told the Financial Times.

Asked if price was the deciding factor, he said: “You’re going to look at price, you’re going to look at culture, you’re going to look at everything.”

Wall Street had already all but given up on a Salesforce bid for Twitter. Speculation that Twitter would be sold drove the stock price up, but shares have given up those gains this week. They fell another 7% on Friday.

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