Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on Twitter speculation: 'It's in our interest to look at everything'

Benioff on deals: Our decisions have been good for our company

Amid speculation about Twitter's future, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said that while he looks at a lot of acquisition properties, he passes on most of them.

"It's in our interest to look at everything," Benioff told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Wednesday. "We have to go deep on everything. We have to understand what is possible for our shareholders and what isn't. But in the scheme of things, if you look back at my track record as a CEO, I think you'll find that while I look at a lot of things, I actually pass on most."

Marc Benioff, CEO of
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While he declined to comment on any specific deal, his remarks come after reports that tie Salesforce, an enterprise tech company, to the potential sale of social media company Twitter.

Unnamed sources told The Wall Street Journal that Benioff had been building a case to buy Twitter, calling the company an "unpolished jewel," according to a report published late Tuesday.

Salesforce shares fell more than 6.5 percent on Wednesday before Benioff spoke, but pared that decline and was last down about 5 percent. The cloud company helps businesses manage relationships with their customers.

Under Benioff, Saleforce has been on what some have called a "spending spree," with big-name acquisitions like Krux, Quip and Demandware, even in a year the company "didn't think they were going to buy any companies." While the company is growing quickly and innovating organically, Benioff said they also have a history of smart acquisitions.

"Our decisions have been very, very good for our company," Benioff said. "On the vast majority of deals we do, the stock goes up."

A bid for Twitter could destroy $12 billion to $17 billion in value for Salesforce, Mizuho analyst Abhey Lamba wrote in a research note. That value could take two to three years to recapture, he estimated.

While Twitter has access to valuable data, a note from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck raised questions about the unverified nature of many user profiles on the site, which often features "not safe for work" content from "bots."

"I think every company is going to need more data to mine," Benioff said. "That's why we're selling our products to our customers — so they will have more data to mine. ... That's really mission critical."

Benioff's comments also come amid the company's massive annual user conference, Dreamforce, in San Francisco. The event is expected to draw 170,000 registrants in person, and millions online, Benioff said.

"You can feel the momentum here. ... After meeting with all these amazing customers yesterday, it revalidated something I already knew: Our core is so very, very strong," Benioff said.

Disclosure: Mizuho Securities or its affiliates makes a market in Salesforce and Twitter. An affiliate of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey has received compensation for non-securities services to Twitter and Salesforce in the last 12 months.