In June, Microsoft closed its acquisition of Yammer, the hot young enterprise social network that got its start at TC50 back in 2008. It was a big exit for the company, which sold for a whopping $1.2 billion. CEO and founder of Yammer David Sacks took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF to talk to Mike Arrington about the past, present and future for the network.
Arrington started by asking Sacks about the early history of Yammer and whether or not the company had ever been in serious talks with Salesforce or Twitter over an acquisition. Sacks said that, in fact, while he had been a huge supporter of Twitter (and even promoted the idea that someone should buy it when it was at a sub-$100M value) and has great respect for Marc Benioff (Salesforce’s CEO), he never shopped Yammer around in the early stages of its growth.
This also comes in the context of yesterday’s conversation between Mike Arrington and Benioff, in which the Salesforce.com CEO sais that Yammer should not have sold to Microsoft and that, in fact, he had passed on buying the company due to its conflicts with Chatter, Salesforce’s own activity stream.
It wasn’t quite sour grapes, though it was tough to tell when Benioff justified his statement by championing the “stay independent” philosophy for entrepreneurs, which has certainly worked for Salesforce. “If everything is going fine, then no need to sell now,” Benioff said.
Sacks responded to that statement this morning by saying that Yammer is the leader in the enterprise social communications space and continues to push forward. Sacks said that he is still leading the company along with his co-founder Adam Pisoni and plans to be there for the foreseeable future, even though Arrington tried to place a bet with him, in which he would give Sacks a $20 Starbucks gift card if he were still working at Yammer in a year.
The Yammer CEO said that he and the team still have quite a few products and ideas they’re looking to push and, although Yammer remains somewhat independent (as its still headquartered in San Francisco), notably the team is working on integrations with Microsoft products.
So, look to see new Yamm-asoft products in clouds near you soon. We here at TechCrunch have often been heard to complain about the reliability of Yammer’s apps but are hoping that the integration with Microsoft will be good for the company — and that integration won’t just be a further distraction rather than a boon for the young enterprise social network.