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AWS Picks Tableau’s Adam Selipsky As New CEO, Replacing Jassy

Selipsky, who previously served as vice president of marketing, sales and support for Seattle-based AWS until his 2016 move to Tableau, replaces founding AWS CEO Andy Jassy, who was named CEO of parent company Amazon in February.

Amazon has named Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky as the next leader of its Amazon Web Services cloud computing business.

Selipsky, who previously served as vice president of marketing, sales and support for Seattle-based AWS until his 2016 move to Tableau, will succeed founding AWS CEO Andy Jassy. In February, it was announced that Jassy would replace Jeff Bezos as CEO of parent company Amazon beginning in the third quarter that starts in July.

Tableau is a Seattle analytics platform provider that was acquired by Salesforce, a San Francisco-based customer relationship management company, for $15.7 billion in stock in 2019.

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team,” Jassy said in an email to AWS employees announcing Selipsky’s appointment today. “And, having been in such a senior role at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and business well.”

Selipsky first joined AWS in 2005, a year before its public launch. His LinkedIn page described his former position there as a chief operating officer role with worldwide responsibility for AWS marketing, sales, business development, partner management, technical support, customer service, and product marketing and management.

Selipsky was a direct report to Jassy and a member of Amazon’s so-called “S-Team” -- a team of senior executives that meets regularly with Bezos to confer on strategic decisions facing the company. Prior to his appointment today, there had been speculation that Amazon would pick a current member of its “S-Team” for the AWS CEO position.

On his LinkedIn page, Selipsky describes himself as having “demonstrated success in building teams, products, markets, and equity value,” with a track record of quadrupling Tableau’s value in the three years before the Salesforce acquisition. He also led AWS from pre-revenue to a more than $13 billion annual revenue run rate, according to his LinkedIn bio.

Selipsky was unavailable for comment. He will return to AWS on May 17 and spend several weeks transitioning with Jassy before the CEO changes take effect in the third quarter.

He’s stepping into big shoes at AWS. Jassy has grown AWS into the industry’s largest cloud computing provider with a $51 billion annual revenue run rate and 32 percent market share, according to the most recent quarterlycloud infrastructure report from Synergy Research Group. Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Azure, AWS’ closest competitor, has a 20 percent market share.

Tableau experienced “significant success” during Selipsky’s tenure as Tableau CEO, according to Jassy’s email.

“Tableau transitioned through a fundamental business model change from perpetual licenses to subscription licensing, and the company was eventually acquired by Salesforce in 2019 in one of the largest software acquisitions in history,” Jassy said.

Selipsky’s appointment is an exciting and strategic move for AWS, according to Jonathan Bauer, Deloitte Consulting’s AWS alliance leader.

“This is a strong choice for the company, as it brings back an AWS alumnus who understands the company culture, leadership principles and business foundation,” Bauer said. “Additionally, Adam returns to AWS with a leadership perspective from an AWS ecosystem partner, Tableau. This is particularly important as partners continue to grow in importance to the AWS business and evolving the effectiveness of that ecosystem is critical. While at Tableau, Selipsky demonstrated his ability to drive vision and operations for a technology company up to and including the acquisition by Salesforce. His leadership and existing relationships with Amazon and AWS leaders will be vital as Andy Jassy takes the helm as Amazon CEO and will accelerate these transitions.”

Selipsky is an “incredibly accomplished” technology executive who brings unique knowledge and experience in his return to AWS in the new role, said Elissa Livingston, senior vice president of growth and strategy at CloudCheckr, a cloud insights platform provider and AWS Advanced Technology Partner based in Rochester, N.Y.

“Having led Tableau through significant growth and its acquisition by Salesforce -- following a long and successful stint in executive leadership positions at AWS -- I expect to see him consider new ways that AWS can use data to bring insights to its customers to more effectively manage their cloud,” Livingston said. “Third-party partner applications that support increasingly complex and diverse needs of IT organizations and service providers will be critical to supporting that vision.”

Jassy’s full email to AWS employees is below:

“I want to share that Adam Selipsky will be the next CEO of AWS.

“Adam is not a new face to AWS. Back in 2005, Adam was one of the first VPs we hired in AWS, and ran AWS’s Sales, Marketing, and Support for 11 years (as well as some other areas like our AWS Platform services for a spell). Adam then became the CEO of Tableau in 2016, and ran Tableau for the last 4.5 years. Tableau experienced significant success during Adam’s time as CEO—the value of the company quadrupled in just a few years, Tableau transitioned through a fundamental business model change from perpetual licenses to subscription licensing, and the company was eventually acquired by Salesforce in 2019 in one of the largest software acquisitions in history. Following the acquisition, Adam remained the CEO of Tableau and was a member of Salesforce’s Executive Leadership Team.

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation, and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team. And, having been in such a senior role at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and business well.

“With a $51B revenue run rate that’s growing 28% YoY (these were the Q4 2020 numbers we last publicly shared), it’s easy to forget that AWS is still in the very early stages of what’s possible. Less than 5% of the global IT spend is in the cloud at this point. That’s going to substantially change in the coming years. We have a lot more to invent for customers, and we have a very strong leadership team and group of builders to go make it happen. Am excited for what lies ahead.

Andy

P.S. Adam will return to AWS on May 17. We will spend the subsequent several weeks transitioning together before making the change sometime in Q3.”


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