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Salesforce shareholders: Who owns the most CRM stock?

By Alejandro Arrieche

Edited by Vanessa Kintu

10:41, 7 December 2022

Salesforce cloud logo, sign at software company headquarters building.
Salesforce is the software company behind one of the most successful CRM systems. Photo: Michael Vi / Shutterstock

The unexpected departure of Bret Taylor as co-CEO of Salesforce (CRM) caused its stock to drop more than 7% during the 30 November session. Market participants may have feared that, with Bret out of the picture, the company’s plans to start turning a profit may not come to fruition as soon as they expected. 

Just a few days later, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, who had joined the company following its acquisition of Slack for more than $27bn in 2020, also announced his departure. This sent the CRM stock price tumbling down to its lowest level since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, closing at $133.86 on 5 December. 

So far in 2022, the stock has accumulated a 48.4% loss as, amid other factors, macroeconomic conditions in the US have deteriorated sharply amid the hawkish actions of the Federal Reserve (Fed). 

Salesforce (CRM) live price chart

Who are the top Salesforce shareholders? In this article, we provide further details about the ownership structure of this software developer.

What is Salesforce (CRM)?

Salesforce is a software company that develops one of the most successful customer relationship management (CRM) systems in the world.

It was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff after he spent several years serving as a top executive at Oracle. The company has been growing rapidly. As of May this year, it occupied 136th place among the 500 largest corporations in America, according to Forbes.

During the first nine months of the 2023 fiscal year, Salesforce generated revenues of $22.97bn and a net income of $306m. The bulk of Salesforce’s revenues come from subscription fees paid by its customers for accessing the company’s cloud-based CRM platform. It also generates income from the collection of professional services fees for providing support to both existing and prospective customers.

Until a few days ago, Salesforce was led by two co-CEOs – Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor. However, Taylor resigned from his role on 30 November.

By the end of FY 2022, Salesforce employed a staff of 73,000. Its headquarters are located in San Francisco, California. The firm went public in June 2004, with shares offered at $11 each. The stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol ‘CRM’. 

In the past 10 years, the price of Salesforce stock has increased by 239.8%. During that same period, the value of the S&P 500 (US500) and the tech-heavy US Tech 100 Index (US100) increased by 182.4% and 340.2%, respectively.

Salesforce (CRM) vs US indices 10-year stock performance

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Who owns the most shares of Salesforce?

1 billion

 

Shares outstanding

71.03%

710.29 million

Institutional ownership

3.35%

33.47 million

Insider ownership

96.75%

967.528 million

Float percentage of TSO

According to Salesforce’s latest annual report of 31 January 2022, there were 450 registered stockholders, including The Depository Trust Company – an entity that holds the firm’s common shares on behalf of many Salesforce shareholders, including brokerage firms and institutional investors.

According to GuruFocus, as of 6 December, 3.4% of Salesforce stock was owned by insiders, including its founder, while 71% of its common shares were held by institutions, including brokerage firms, hedge funds, pension funds and asset management companies.

Data from MarketScreener indicated that The Vanguard Group, State Street and Fidelity Management & Research are the top three shareholders of Salesforce. These are brokerage and asset management firms that either hold the stock on behalf of their customers or they could be held by some of the mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) they manage.

Additionally, Marc Benioff is the largest non-institutional individual stockholder of the company, owning a 2.78% stake in the firm he founded.

CRM shares have voting rights, meaning that all Salesforce shareholders have a say in the company’s affairs in correspondence with the number of shares they own.

Individuals who buy Salesforce stock through a broker can appoint them as a proxy, meaning that the broker can vote on their behalf. However, they can also opt to cast a vote on the company’s key decisions at Salesforce shareholders meetings.

Salesforce biggest shareholders among institutions

The Vanguard Group

One of America’s largest asset management companies, overseeing more than $8trn in assets for its customers as of 30 September. Its ample portfolio of investment products and solutions includes exchange-traded funds (ETF) and mutual funds that invest in shares of Salesforce to mimic the performance of the different indexes they track. 

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Additionally, Vanguard offers access to a self-directed investment platform through which individuals can become shareholders of Salesforce. In these cases, Vanguard will be listed as the owner of the stock even though they are only acting as custodians.

State Street

Another large American asset management firm that oversaw more than $4trn in assets by the end of last year. Its investment products include ETFs and mutual funds as well that either offer exposure to the tech industry or track the performance of broad-market indexes that include Salesforce stock among their components such as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (US30).

Fidelity Management & Research

A long-standing pillar of America’s financial industry. The firm was founded in 1946 by Edward C. Johnson II. It has grown to become a mammoth in the asset management and investment business, overseeing $3.61bn as of 30 September this year. 

Customers of Fidelity may become CRM shareholders by buying the stock via the firm’s self-directed trading solution. In those cases, Fidelity will be listed as the owner of the stock even though it is only acting as custodian.

Salesforce major shareholders among insiders

CRM top direct holders

The following individuals are considered Salesforce biggest shareholders among insiders. The list includes the firm’s top executives and members of the Board of Directors along with its founder, Marc Benioff.

These shares have been granted to insiders by the company via stock options as part of their compensation package.

Marc Benioff

27.76 million shares 

Benioff founded Salesforce in 1999 after spending more than 13 years at Oracle (ORCL) – another software giant. 

He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and is an active member of multiple non-profit organisations, including the World Economic Forum (WEF). Benioff is currently the owner of TIME – the parent company of the well-known magazine. Benioff’s net worth was $5.9bn as of December 6, according to Forbes.

Craig Ramsey

1.33 million shares

A former board member of Salesforce, Ramsey spent 11 years serving the company’s top corporate governance body and resigned to engage in other business activities. He is also the founder of Vlocity, a software developer that creates apps by relying on Salesforce’s proprietary CRM platform. 

Bret Taylor

900,172 shares 

Until 30 November, Taylor was the co-CEO of Salesforce alongside Benioff. Before he rose to the company’s top position, he served as chief operating officer and chief product officer.

Taylor’s resume includes a tenure at Facebook. He is reportedly the person who invented the ‘like’ button that billions of people use every day on the social media platform. He was also the chairman of Twitter prior to the company’s acquisition by Elon Musk.

While it may be useful to know who owns the most shares of Saleforce, it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your own research. Always conduct your own due diligence, looking at the latest stock news, a wide range of analyst commentary, technical and fundamental analysis.

Remember, past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never trade with money you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

How many Salesforce shares are there?

According to data provided by Salesforce in its latest quarterly report, as of 29 November this year, there were 1 billion common shares of the company in circulation.

How many shareholders does Salesforce have?

According to Salesforce’s latest annual report, as of 31 January, there were 450 registered stockholders including The Depository Trust Company – an entity that holds the firm’s common shares on behalf of many Salesforce shareholders including brokerage firms and institutional investors.

Who owns the Salesforce company?

According to GuruFocus, 71% of Salesforce’s common shares were in the hands of institutional investors as of 5 December. Meanwhile, the largest individual non-institutional stockholder by this same date was Marc Benioff, owning a 2.78% stake in the firm.

Markets in this article

CRM
Salesforce Inc (Extended Hours)
252.37 USD
-4.54 -1.770%
ORCL
Oracle
139.06 USD
-3.65 -2.560%
US500
US 500
5594.7 USD
-72.3 -1.280%
US100
US Tech 100
19837.6 USD
-567.1 -2.780%
US30
US Wall Street 30
41189.3 USD
216.5 +0.530%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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