Marc Benioff, the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Salesforce, will become the new owner of Time magazine.
Meredith Corporation, the news magazine’s current owner, said in a press release Sunday it had entered into a ‘definitive agreement’ to sell the magazine to Benioff and his wife, Lynne, for 90 million. The Benioffs’ purchase of Time will be kept separate from Salesforce, and the couple plans to take a hands-off approach to managing the magazine.
‘The Benioffs are purchasing Time personally and the transaction is unrelated to Salesforce.com, where Mr. Benioff is chairman, co-CEO and founder,’ Meredith said in its release. ‘Mr. and Mrs. Benioff will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by Time’s current executive leadership team.’
Benioff confirmed the purchase in a tweet Sunday evening, saying he and his wife were ‘honored to be stewards of this iconic brand.’
‘The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all,’ Benioff wrote.
With the purchase, Benioff becomes the latest high-profile tech figure to make an investment in a traditional news publication. In 2013, Amazon co-founder and CEO Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post for 50 million — a deal that was also executed by individual entity instead of through Amazon. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, purchased a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine with her philanthropy Emerson Collective.
Benioff’s agreement to purchase Time magazine is still subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close in the next 30 days, Meredith said.