Revenues are up, the boss is about to give his keynote, and results are due. Time to sell shares, says Salesforce CFO

$2.5m worth – 1,000 pairs of Nike Air Mag sneakers or a second-hand Pagani? Decisions, decisions


Is it a vote of confidence when the CFO sells $2.5m in shares as the CEO is about to make his big pitch of the year and the quarterly results are due?

That's the situation at Salesforce.

This week, Mark Hawkins, president and chief financial officer of the dominant SaaS cloud CRM provider, took the opportunity [PDF] to flog $2.5m in shares, enough – we imagine – to keep the company's co-founder and CEO, Marc Benioff, in Italian leather slip-ons for many a year.

The balance of shares Hawkins offloaded in the week was 3,932, having bought just over $1m worth a day or so earlier.

Buying and selling your employer's shares to make a quick buck may be the norm for the higher echelons of the wealth bracket, but the timing could pique observers' interest.

Having teased the world with his will-they-won't-they statements about Salesforce's annual sales extravaganza Dreamforce, Benioff opted to run it albeit in an online format for 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Next week he is set to deliver his infamous keynote – which has, on occasion, run for three hours, featured ageing Beach Boys, a Hawaiian dance spectacular and blessing ceremony, and a drone delivery by Coca-Cola – from a remote location without an audience.

The ebullient CEO, famed for his love for Indian gurus, is scheduled to speak on 2nd December, the day after Salesforce is set to announce its third-quarter results.

Financial performance this year has been staggering against the pandemic-ravaged economic backdrop. The 20-year-old SaaS bellwether was so chuffed with its $5.15bn second-quarter revenue haul – up 29 per cent year-on-year – it raised guidance for 2021 by some $700m to $20.7bn-$20.8bn.

May we all share Hawkins' confidence that the Sun will continue to shine on Salesforce and its earnings. ®


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