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Parmy Olson and Chris Hughes

Activist Investors Move on Salesforce. Is Big Tech Safe?

Elliott may make companies tremble but the sector's top players are cash-generating machines and have little to fear for now.

Marc Benioff, co-chief executive officer of Inc.

Marc Benioff, co-chief executive officer of Inc.

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

Tech stocks got a bump on Monday morning after Elliott Investment Management took a multibillion-dollar position in Salesforce Inc., heralding a fight to squeeze higher returns out of the enterprise-software giant.

Shareholder activism is ramping up and recent job cuts from Alphabet Inc., Amazon Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others could go deeper if the goal is to get back to pre-Covid staffing levels. Elon Musk has shown that a large internet platform can keep the lights on with a fraction of the staff. Might a similar activist assault take on the rest of Big Tech, whose shares have dropped over the past 12 months in a post-pandemic hangover?