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Digital Transformation

From the Wired HQ Event: Salesforce’s Bret Taylor and Slack’s Stewart Butterfield on the Work from Anywhere World

Last week, in a virtual panel discussion hosted by Wired HQ in conjunction with CES, Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor and Slack CEO and Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield discussed today’s all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. The online event, moderated by Wired Interim Editor Megan Greenwell and titled “The Virtual Workforce: The Shifting Paradigm of What it Means to Go to the Office,” is available via a video replay here.

The event included discussion of how everyone’s working lives have changed during the pandemic, and also delved into new models for work that are likely to take shape as vaccinations roll out and many people eventually return to their workplaces. Bret and Stewart agreed that our concept of “the office” will become permanently redefined.

Here are a few highlights: 

I was just on the phone with an insurance company this morning that estimates, even on the other side of this pandemic, over 70% of their workforce will be distributed. And I think that’s really representative of the customer conversations I’m having.

– Bret Taylor

“If you had asked many chief executives whether it’s possible for us to just all start working from home the next weekend, that would have seemed impossible. Sometimes things that seem impossible happen when they need to happen, and you discover that you’re able to do them. I think with that discovery comes an era where we will have a little bit more thoughtfulness about how we can best leverage technologies at work.” –Stewart Butterfield

“Once we are no longer required to be separated for health concerns, what is the new normal? We did a survey of our employees a few months back, and the vast majority wanted to work remotely. We redid the same survey recently, and 72 percent of our employees said they want to return to the workplace because of the fatigue from the pandemic. I think that’s really interesting because it  shows you that the best companies will have to ask ‘how do I intentionally develop my culture in this all-digital, work anywhere world?” –Bret Taylor

Whereas before people looked at digital technologies as ways of augmenting the ‘real way that you work,’ which was together in a room with people, we are experiencing an inversion. So now, the “real way you work” together is the digital way. That’s a real paradigm shift, and I think a shift in the way people will organizationally design company culture and productivity.” –Stewart Butterfield

The big question is, of the habits that we’ve developed in this pandemic, what will we retain on the other side? What does a company need to succeed in the all-digital, work anywhere world?… The world collectively has now developed a beginner’s mind about the way we do work. So much of what we did before was because that’s the way we did it before. And now that we’ve been forced to reimagine the way we work, I think the opportunity is to say, okay, on the other side of this, how do we want to intentionally rebuild our culture?” –Bret Taylor

Don’t miss the full event replay, available here

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication relates to a proposed business combination transaction between, Inc. (“Salesforce”) and Slack Technologies, Inc. (“Slack”). This communication includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements relate to future events and anticipated results of operations, business strategies, the anticipated benefits of the proposed transaction, the anticipated impact of the proposed transaction on the combined company’s business and future financial and operating results, the expected amount and timing of synergies from the proposed transaction, the anticipated closing date for the proposed transaction and other aspects of our operations or operating results. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “foresees,” “forecasts,” “estimates” or other words or phrases of similar import. It is uncertain whether any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of the combined companies or the price of Salesforce or Slack stock. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the parties’ control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the impact of public health crises, such as pandemics (including coronavirus (COVID-19)) and epidemics and any related company or government policies and actions to protect the health and safety of individuals or government policies or actions to maintain the functioning of national or global economies and markets; the effect of the announcement of the merger on the ability of Salesforce or Slack to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with customers, suppliers and others with whom Salesforce or Slack do business, or on Salesforce’s or Slack’s operating results and business generally; risks that the merger disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; the outcome of any legal proceedings related to the merger; the ability of the parties to consummate the proposed transaction on a timely basis or at all; the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to consummation of the proposed transaction, including the ability to secure regulatory approvals on the terms expected, at all or in a timely manner; the ability of Salesforce to successfully integrate Slack’s operations; the ability of Salesforce to implement its plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to Salesforce’s business after the completion of the transaction and realize expected synergies; and business disruption following the merger. These risks, as well as other risks related to the proposed transaction, will be included in the registration statement on Form S-4 and proxy statement/prospectus that will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in connection with the proposed transaction. While the list of factors presented here is, and the list of factors to be presented in the registration statement on Form S-4 are, considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. For additional information about other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, please refer to Salesforce’s and Slack’s respective periodic reports and other filings with the SEC, including the risk factors identified in Salesforce’s and Slack’s most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Reports on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements included in this communication are made only as of the date hereof. Neither Salesforce nor Slack undertakes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.

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Additional Information about the Merger and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed transaction, Salesforce intends to file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a proxy statement of Slack and that also constitutes a prospectus of Salesforce. Each of Salesforce and Slack may also file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. This document is not a substitute for the proxy statement/prospectus or registration statement or any other document that Salesforce or Slack may file with the SEC. The definitive proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available) will be mailed to stockholders of Salesforce and Slack. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT MAY BE FILED WITH THE SEC, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THESE DOCUMENTS, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available) and other documents containing important information about Salesforce, Slack and the proposed transaction, once such documents are filed with the SEC through the website maintained by the SEC at Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Salesforce will be available free of charge on Salesforce’s website at or by contacting Salesforce’s Investor Relations department at Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Slack will be available free of charge on Slack’s website at or by contacting Slack’s Investor Relations department at

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