Salesforce: A New Dawn. CEO Marc Benioff is pivoting the cloud company from family to profitability.
Drama is mounting, reader. I'm Diamond Naga Siu, and I'm not just talking about the Selena/Hailey 'mean girls' saga — I'm fascinated by the Salesforce spectacle.
Within months, multiple activist investors bulked up their stakes in Salesforce. Now, under their careful watch, Benioff needs to guide the company through a cost-cutting period — something he's never done before.
Leaked documents show that "lean and mean" is his new mantra, seeming to replace his focus on "Ohana" (a Hawaiian term for family). Benioff then emphasized this outlook during Wednesday's earnings call.
Phew. That's a lot for just a few months. So before the drama llama continues its marathon, let's dive into today's tech.
1. Salesforce is Pushin' P (profitability). CEO Marc Benioff announced on Wednesday that the company is starting a "new day." Profitability and efficiency are Benioff's new favorite words, eclipsing the company's infamous family-centric mantra.
- The sudden pivot is likely due to multiple investors keen to change the company. It's already making progress toward what those activists want to see: Salesforce posted a 22.5% operating margin during its last fiscal year and is now working toward 27%. Plus, its stock rose 15% after hours after the earnings report.
- Benioff said he's following Oracle's profit playbook. But one of its most powerful investors is still unhappy and shared an icy warning that declared "much work remains."
- The Salesforce CEO is also watching to see how Elon Musk's drastic cuts at Twitter pan out. Speaking to Insider, Benioff said CEOs are asking themselves, "do they need to unleash their own Elon within them?"
In other news:
2. Ford wants its vehicles to repossess themselves. The American carmaker applied for a patent that would let cars repossess themselves if drivers miss a payment. Vehicles would lock drivers out and drive themselves to a scrapyard or impound lot. More on the punitive patent here.
3. Top Twitter alternatives. Ever since Elon Musk took over, platforms like Discord and Mastodon have worked to nab unhappy users. We break down the numbers of the frontrunners: user volume, staff headcount, funding, and other stats. Check them all out here.
4. The one-pager that nabbed this UCLA student 40+ brand deals. Stacy Kim only has 3,400 Instagram followers. Yet she's secured paid partnerships with brands like Sephora, Fabletics, Samsung, and other major companies. This is the one-page document she used to strike those deals.
5. Knowing how to talk with chatbots is the hottest new skill. AI companies are keen to hire prompt engineers to test their chatbots. They must be able to identify flaws within AI and uncover inaccurate answers. Here's what you need to know about the hot new job.
6. Facebook is stripping managers of their teams. An employee told Insider that managers are being trained for work they haven't done in years. Plus, they could even be in direct competition with their former direct reports. More on the team changes here.
7. Shopify is 'flattening' its org structure. The e-commerce company is trying to incentivize certain workers, dubbed "crafters," to help grow the company. Crafters would focus on building projects, while managers would focus on things like strategy. Get all the upcoming reorg details here.
8. Four huge benefits to go electric. Insider's car connoisseur Tim Levin has driven 19 EVs. Interesting features and cool storage solutions are among his top reasons to make a switch. Check them all out here. Bonus: Meet the average EV driver. They're typically wealthy millennial swapping out their luxury gas-powered car.
Odds and ends:
9. Okay, Boomer: a greedy generation that destroyed the economy. They bottlenecked the amount of homes, workers, and other key resources needed to thrive. Millennials and Gen Z are facing the consequences of their actions, Alex Yablon writes for Insider. Dive into the boomer blockage here.
10. Scientists had no idea that this US military's nuclear explosion would be so big. Castle Bravo was 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima. Its radioactive fallout was much worse than anyone anticipated. Go behind-the-scenes of the explosion here.
What we're watching today:
- SpaceX Crew-6 mission plans to launch to the International Space Station today. Watch it here.
- Quarterly earnings for VMWare, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Best Buy, and other companies. Keep up with earnings here.
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu on an airplane. (Feedback or tips? Email email@example.com or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.
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