Marc Benioff, the chief executive of the software company Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne, said on Sunday that they had agreed to buy Time magazine from Meredith Corporation for $190 million in cash.
Mr. Benioff answered several questions about the deal by text message on Sunday night. Lightly edited excerpts follow.
Q. This would be faster over the phone.
A. Hard to believe but … I am in a massage. (Mr. Benioff texts a cartoon image of a man under a towel with cucumbers on his eyes.)
Where did you get the idea of buying Time?
I have been speaking with the C.E.O. of Meredith since he bought Time Inc. about all of his assets.
I was interested in the potential. They are great assets.
You haven’t shown much interest in media before, right?
They are aligned with the impact investing I do. I have a portfolio of almost 200 companies I have invested in.
You wanted to buy Twitter at one point.
My investors turned against me. I loved (Twitter). Love (Twitter chief executive) Jack (Dorsey) too.
Why didn’t you buy Fortune magazine?
Time is the best fit for us.
I really liked the Meredith team, and I definitely wanted to do something with them. It just wasn’t clear what it was. When Time emerged as the candidate we all felt it was right. That took nine months to figure out.
If Meredith didn’t buy Time Inc. this never would have happened. Meredith is the key player.
You’re going to be 54 soon. Do you have any dreams left to fulfill?
I live with a beginner’s mind. I didn’t realize two weeks ago I was going to buy Time.
(Mr. Benioff texts a screenshot of a quote from the Zen master Suzuki: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”)
My power was that I didn’t really want to do anything but I was open to all possibilities.
Will you move Time magazine to San Francisco?
No, it will stay in New York. I’m not going to get involved operationally. We don’t get operationally involved in our investments. I’m busy enough with my job. They have a great team. It’s a very strong business. Very profitable.
Meredith will continue to be a key partner going forward.
Will you be involved spiritually?
I feel our values are aligned. Trust is my highest value and it is Time’s as well.
I thought journalism was Time’s highest value. Did you read Time as a kid? Or an adult?
Yes, always loved it.
Would you hope interviews in Time magazine are more probing than this?
“I’ve decided I can only be myself. Everyone else is taken.” — Oscar Wilde.
Thanks for your time. How is the massage?
Paulene is amazing. Let me know if you want her number.
Read more about Time Inc. and Marc Benioff