Stewart Butterfield, in a memo to Slack employees obtained by The Verge (posted, of course, on the company’s internal Slack):
So: why?? Well, we started this company 13.5 years ago (though
it’s “only” been 10 years since we started development of Slack
itself). It’s been a long and wild run. I am not going off to do
something entrepreneurial. Though it may sound hackneyed, I
actually am going to spend more time with my family. We have a new
baby coming in January. Can I tell you something? I fantasize
about gardening. So, I’m going to work on some personal projects,
focus on health, and try to learn as many new things as I can.
I suppose this is not surprising at all. Salesforce inked the deal to acquire Slack for $28 billion on December 1, 2020. A two-year stay agreement would mean Butterfield is free to leave … this week. Butterfield is a consumer-minded product person, and Salesforce is as enterprise-y as enterprise-y gets. The numbers are much bigger for Slack, but it’s kind of amazing how similar the story has been to Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr in 2005.
I have a zillion complaints about Slack, but there’s no denying that, on the whole, it’s a great product and service, and has defined the modern framework for remote work and collaboration.