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Tableau Wanted Salesforce Shares, Benioff Tells Cramer: 'I Can't Blame Them'

Jayson Derrick

The customer relationship management company salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) paid $15.3 billion in stock to buy data visualization company Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) because Tableau "didn't want our cash," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC's Jim Cramer Monday. 

Third 'Cornerstone' Complete

Of the three "cornerstones" or steps to succeeding in a digital transformation, Salesforce has completed the first two, Benioff said during a "Mad Money" interview.

The first step is to focus on the customer, and Salesforce is "better than anyone else" in this regard, the CEO said.

The acquisition of MuleSoft marks the second stage of Salesforce's digital transformation, he said, adding that it involves integrating data sources for a more "holistic" view of the customer.

The third stage requires analytics, visualization, and business intelligence to "see everything in your company," Benioff said.

There is "no more amazing company" in that category than Tableau, as its core purpose is to make sure "the world can see and understand data," he said. 

All-Stock Deal

Benioff said he would have been "more than happy" to offer Tableau an all-cash deal.

The acquisition target simply wanted Salesforce's equity instead because they "know that the real value" of the deal is the entity the two companies will create, he said. 

"Ultimately they want our stock and, hey, I can't blame them," he said. "Look at how it's performed over the last decade."

Salesforce shares were down by 1.96 percent at $149.75 at the time of publication Tuesday, while Tableau shares were down 2 percent at $164.12. 

Related Links:

Salesforce Buying Tableau Software For .7B

Wall Street Mostly Positive On Salesforce's Q1

Photo courtesy of Salesforce. 

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