Salesforce's CEO and its biggest investor made $1B on the deal rumour news on Wednesday

Mark BenioffSteve Jennings/Getty ImagesWhy is this man smiling? He just took a big gain this week — on paper.

Whether the story that Salesforce is looking for a buyer is true, or false, it is certainly was lucrative.

On Wednesday Bloomberg reported that Salesforce had hired bankers to advise on a potential sale of itself. It would be the biggest tech acquisition of the year, and would require a massive buyer — a Microsoft or Oracle.

Salesforce wouldn’t confirm or deny the rumour directly.

Either way, on this chatter, Salesforce’s stock spiked from $US66.89 to an all time high of $US74.65.

That means major shareholders got significantly richer, at least on paper. In this case, the biggest winners were Fidelity Investments and CEO Mark Benioff.

  • Fidelity made $US715,822,379.52 from its 14% stake in the company after Wednesday’s spike.
  • Benioff made $US292,358,000 from his 5.45% stake — which is not bad for a guy who is paid around $US2.9 million in cash and $US27.6 million in equity.
  • Parker Harris, a co-founder of Salesforce, made $US16,042,643.76 from his 0.32% stake.
  • And Salesforce ex-board member Craig Ramsay made $US10,288,852.08 on his stake in the company.

These are only paper gains — there has been no formal announcement of a deal, or even a follow-up media report confirming Wednesday’s news. So, until new information comes to light, these paper gains will stay on paper.

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