We did the maths to calculate exactly how long it would take Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to earn the $190 million he used to buy Time magazine

Kimberley White/Getty ImagesMarc Benioff is buying Time magazine for $US190 million.
  • Marc Benioff and wife Lynne Benioff announced Sunday that they’re buying Time magazine for $US190 million.
  • The acquisition will cost Benioff around 21% of the estimated $US900 million he earned from March 2017 to March 2018, according to our calculations, and only about 4% of his total $US4.9 billion net worth.
  • It takes Benioff about two and a half months to earn $US190 million. It would take someone earning the typical US annual salary every day more than 11 years to earn that same sum.
  • Benioff isn’t the first billionaire to purchase a media title – Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $US250 million in 2013, and Laurene Powell Jobs acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic.

On Sunday, Salesforce CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff and wife Lynne Benioff announced they are buying Time Magazine for $US190 million cash as individuals.

This isn’t the first time Time magazine finds itself in new hands recently: The move comes not even one year after Meredith Corporation acquired its namesake company, Time Inc., which also houses well-known titles including People, Better Homes and Gardens, and Entertainment Weekly.

Nearly $US200 million is a fortune, but to Benioff, it’s not as much as it sounds. According to Forbes, his 2018 net worth is $US4.9 billion, nearly $US1 billion more than his $US4 billion net worth in 2017. That means in just a year, his net worth increased by $US900 million, earning him a spot on Forbes’ 2017 and 2018 richest people in the world lists.

Broken down, that’s:

  • $US102,740 an hour
  • $US2.47 million a day
  • $US17.3 million a week
  • $US75 million a month

According to the Wall Street Journal, Time, which generated $US173 million in revenue in 2017, has an operating profit of $US33 million. At $US190 million, the Benioffs purchased the nearly century-old magazine for more than five-and-a-half times its operating profit – and around 21% of Benioff’s estimated earnings over the past year. At $US75 million a month, Benioff’s wealth only had to grow for two and a half months to be able to afford the deal.

When you look at Time’s purchase price compared to Benioff’s total $US4.9 billion net worth, it cost him a measly 3.88% of his wealth to acquire the magazine.

To put things in perspective, the median annual US salary in the second quarter of 2018 was $US45,552, according to data by the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Benioff makes more than twice that much in an hour.

As noted above, the $US190 million Benioff spent on Time is roughly 21% of his earnings last year. For the median US worker, that 21% rate is equivalent to $US9,565. A person earning the median annual US salary every day would need 4,171 days, or more than 11 years, just to be able to afford Benioff’s Time acquisition.

Benioff may be a billionaire, but these numbers don’t even begin to stack up compared to how much other billionaires make in an hour. Other notable billionaires, like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, make Benioff’s $US102,739 hourly rate look like pennies.

How much money billionaires make in hour chartShayanne Gal/Business Insider

Benioff follows in the footsteps of other billionaires – Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $US250 million in 2013, and Laurene Powell Jobs acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic.

The deal is expected to close in 30 days. As of September 17, one day following his acquisition announcement, Benioff’s net worth is estimated at $US6.6 billion by Forbes.

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