Salesforce Billionaire Marc Benioff and wife Agree to Buy Time Magazine
Time, the pre-eminent weekly news magazine of the 20th century, will have new owners: Marc Benioff, the billionaire co-founder of the software company Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne. Now, with the deal for Time, the Benioffs have picked up one of the most storied – but struggling – publications in the country.
Time’s parent company, Meredith, announced on Sunday (Monday AEST) that it had agreed to sell the flagship publication of once-mighty Time to the Benioffs for $US190 million in cash.
“The Benioffs are purchasing TIME personally and the transaction is unrelated to Salesforce.com, where Mr. Benioff is Chairman, co-CEO and founder,” according to a statement from the Meredith Corporation, which is selling Time.
The Benioffs will not be involved in operations or journalistic decisions, “which will continue to be led by TIME’s current executive leadership team,” the statement said.
“The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all,” Marc Benioff wrote on Twitter.
“A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand,” he added.
“On behalf of the entire TIME team, we are very excited to begin this next chapter in our history,” its editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said in the statement.
“We can’t imagine better stewards for TIME than Marc and Lynne Benioff. The team is inspired by their commitment to high-quality journalism and by their confidence in the work we have done to transform and expand the brand in new directions,” Felsenthal said.
Benioff becomes the latest tech billionaire to take the reins of an iconic media brand. Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, bought The Washington Post in 2013. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine through her organisation, Emerson Collective.
Meredith announced in March that it was looking for a buyer for four magazines, including Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, which were bought less than four months ago.
Meredith has reached a “multi-year” agreement with the Benioffs “to provide services such as consumer marketing, subscription fulfilment, paper purchasing and printing,” it said.
By snatching up Time, Marc Benioff joins several other billionaires who have purchased storied publications, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, who bought the prestigious Washington Post newspaper in 2013.
The same year, John Henry, the billionaire owner of the Boston Red Sox, purchased The Boston Globe, while billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, who made a fortune in biotechnology, bought The Los Angeles Times in June.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet has also purchased a series of newspapers in recent years.
The Continuous Wealth Decline of Patrice Motsepe: A Further Loss of $100 Million
Patrice Motsepe, South African billionaire, continues to face financial setbacks as his n…