Marc Benioff, billionaire and co-founder of cloud computing software firm Salesforce, is purchasing Time magazine, with his wife Lynne Benioff, for $190 million. As soon as the deal closes, the Benioffs will become the owners of one of America’s most iconic news magazines.
Benioff tweeted: ‘The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all.’ He described the magazine as ‘a treasure trove of our history & culture’.
As Benioff is being nostalgic, he decided to make the purchase a family affair. The Benioffs are buying the magazine as individuals, saying that the investment will be unrelated to Salesforce and they consider themselves as ‘caretakers’.
In an interview, Benioff said: ‘We’re investing in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business. That’s what we’re looking for when we invest as a family.’
As a result, they will not take part in any operational decisions and will instead let the Time magazine team do their jobs as usual.
He said in a statement: ‘Lynne and I will take on no operational responsibility for Time and look only to be the stewards of this historic and iconic brand.’
Marc Benioff is not the only billionaire from the tech world to purchase a traditional news publication. In 2013, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, bought The Washington Post. Laurene Powell Jobs, the late Steve Jobs’ wife, also acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine. And earlier this year, Biotech king Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the Los Angeles Times.
We might be caught up in the instant, spontaneous, fast and furious news environment of today, but the traditional has always been appreciated in the business world.
Is it time to go back to basics? Or is journalism becoming the new hobby of the rich? As advertising executive Matt Barash tweeted: ‘Print is the new yacht.’