Microsoft now more focused on ‘killing Zoom’ than Slack, says Stewart Butterfield

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At TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield and Salesforce COO Bret Taylor discussed their $28 billion merger, announced last December, which the Department of Justice signed off on this summer.

But shareholders still seem to be second-guessing the deal. At least, they aren’t convinced of the value that Slack brings to Salesforce if one uses as a barometer the performance of Salesforce’s shares — they’re valued roughly where they were a year ago.

I think Microsoft believes that in order to kill Slack, they’re going to have to kill Zoom first.

Taylor, perhaps naturally, sounded unconcerned, suggesting that major acquisitions can take time to digest.

“When we do acquisitions, just by the way we finance them, it often takes us a handful of quarters for our shareholders to really understand the strategic rationale; see that we can execute on the integration.”

To Taylor’s point, Salesforce has only in the last month begun to weave Salesforce features into Slack, whose newest feature, Clips, allows users to record themselves or their screens to send as videos to their colleagues. Users can also “do speech-to-text and create a transcript of these videos that are indexed for search so they’re findable later,” said Butterfield, explaining, as did Taylor, that Slack remains very much focused on asynchronous communications.

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