Rant: Money men move tech CEOs like pawns in a game

Rant: Money men move tech CEOs like pawns in a game

It’s confirmed: investment funds, institutional investors, venture capitalists and the rest of the financial community are the invisible hands that steer what’s going on in IT.

Salesforce.com is mulling the purchase of Twitter, reportedly, but, just as reportedly, it might be lacking the support of key investors to pull off the deal. The New York Times suggests that Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce and generally agreed to be Great Master of the Cloud Applications Universe, was summoned to explain his manoeuvrings. No matter that Benioff has built one of the great franchises in the IT sector, shaped an industry and showed himself to be a brilliant operator: the money men must insert their oars.

And then there is the case of Oracle and NetSuite where a key investor would like to see the former pay more for the latter, potentially scuppering a deal that might have rewritten the great book of the enterprise applications sector.

Then think of all the VCs giving the thumbs up and the thumbs down to startups: the modern Roman emperors of the technology empire. Where do these people come from? What, apart from near-term wealth accumulation, inspires their expertise? Wherefore the source of all this politicking and interference?

Who knows, but it’s fairly clear that today’s IT is coloured by people whose expertise lies in financial arbitrage rather than technology strategy. The implications of this are staggering: CIOs are denied the best plans of CEOs, good ideas are squandered, and strategies are written to appease financiers rather than the general good. And, increasingly, technology lies under the thumb of Mammon.   


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Torquemada, not his real name, has been casting a jaundiced eye on the technology world since the Sinclair C5 was causing as much excitement as the driverless car today, a 64K RAM pack could turbocharge performance, and Alan Sugar was the equivalent of Elon Musk.

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