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New Tableau CEO: Amazon AWS Cloud Pioneer Adam Selipsky

Tableau Software Inc. (NYSE: DATA), the big data and analytics software provider, has hired Amazon Web Services pioneer Adam Selipsky as president and CEO, effective September 16. He succeeds Christian Chabot, who will remain chairman.

Selipsky has spent over a decade building Amazon’s AWS business — where he most recently was VP of marketing, sales and support. Some of his focus has involved channel partners — lining up major MSPs to back Amazon’s cloud platform. He also keynoted Amazon’s AWS Global Partner Summit last year. Prior to joining Amazon, he was an executive at RealNetworks.

Prying Selipsky away from AWS apparently wasn’t easy. His compensation package as Tableau’s new CEO includes a $1 million signing bonus.

Selipsky slides into the CEO seat at a critical time for the company. Although Tableau is growing rapidly, the company’s stock crashed 50 percent in February 2016 because Wall Street was concerned about potential slowing growth. Tableau took another hit in early August, when the company’s latest quarterly profits exceeded expectations but revenues fell short of Wall Street’s lofty demands.

Tableau: Growing, Partnering Fast Enough?

Plenty of companies would love to have Tableau’s challenges. For its quarter ended June 30, 2016, revenues surged 32 percent year over year to $198.5 million. More than 3,900 new customer accounts opened during the quarter, and Tableau had more than 332 transactions of $100,000 — up 42 percent year over year.

Tableau has also been building out its partner program. EMC veteran Michael Hoff, for instance, joined the company in August 2015 vice president of channels for the Americas. Fast forward to August 2016, and the channel partner strategy involving OEMs was barely mentioned during the company’s August 2016 earnings call.

Tableau: More Executive Changes

Still, Tableau’s CEO change could signal an overall shakeup at the company. In addition to the CEO change, Tableau made these executive changes:

  • Co-Founder Chris Stolte will transition from chief development officer to technical advisor — which sounds to me like he’s being eased out of the company, though an SEC filing says he remains an executive with Tableau.
  • Andrew Beers will succeed Stolte as CDO and will lead the product development team. Beers has been with the company from its inception.
  • Francois Ajenstat, one of the company’s long-time product leaders, will be elevated to a new position as Chief Product Officer, reporting to Beers.

Although Selipsky will surely sharpen Tableau’s focus on execution, he says the company’s mission remains unchanged — “to help people see and understand their data.”

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