Elliott Management, one of five activist investors working inside of Salesforce, has nominated a slate of candidates to the Salesforce board of directors. This move, which was confirmed by sources to TechCrunch is an indication that negotiations to resolve this without getting to this point have broken down. CNBC was first with this news.
“Elliott has been in constructive, but intense dialogue with the company over the last few weeks, and has nominated a slate of directors to the board of Salesforce,” a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The person indicated that Elliott has been putting maximum pressure on the company through dialogue and through these nominations and the firm will be watching closely to see what happens tonight when Salesforce reports earnings.
“And we’ll see what happens basically, if and when they announced things that Elliott wants to hear tonight, just improvements to the company and changes overall. And after earnings come out, that is when the firm will kind of figure out next steps.”
When a firm nominates its own slate of candidates to the board, the end goal is to get a group of people on the board who can act on behalf of Elliott and implement whatever changes they have in mind. They have not been clear what they want, but clearly it involves cutting operations costs and increasing profits, possibly even divesting some of the non-core parts of the business.
So far the company has laid off 10% of its workforce and announced other changes like cutting its real estate footprint in an effort to slash costs.
Elliott is not the only activist working inside the firm right now. Starboard Value, ValueAct, Inclusive Capital and Third Point, which became involved just last month, are also high profile activists investing in Salesforce. Having five activists operating at the same time inside a company like Salesforce is highly unusual and this may be the first time it’s happened before.
Salesforce had no comment on the news. It reports earnings this afternoon after the bell.