Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to buy Time magazine for $190M

Salesforce founder Marc Benioff

Salesforce founder Marc Benioff

Meredith announced that it was selling Time magazine for $190 million in cash to Benioff, one of four co-founders of Salesforce, a cloud computing pioneer and an executive known for social activism.

The U.S. media company said the Benioffs were purchasing Time personally and the transaction was unrelated to Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N), where Marc Benioff is chairman, co-chief executive and founder.

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.

Mr Benioff is the co-chief executive and co-founder of USA cloud computing business Salesforce, which is primarily known for its customer relationship management software. The Benioffs said they won't be involved in day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions. "We have deep respect for their entire organization, and are honored to now have Time as part of our family impact investment portfolio".

Both Time and Sports Illustrated have been venerated names in the world of photojournalism, but both have seen major changes in the way they source photos in recent years with the rapidly shifting media landscape. At the time, it was said the move could set up a succession plan for Benioff as he moved to be co-CEO as a result.

"For over 90 years, Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation".

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Print advertising is on the decline and Time cut circulation down from 3 million to 2.3 million earlier this year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, another wealthy tech giant, purchased The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the sale, which is expected to close within the next 30 days.

In March, Meredith - after completing the acquisition of Time Inc.

Meredith said on Sunday that deals for the other titles are expected in "the near future".

"The Benioffs have a profound commitment to community and to finding solutions to some of society's most complex problems, whether it's building children's hospitals or tackling homelessness", Time editor Edward Felsenthal wrote in a note to staffers Sunday, published on Time's website.

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