Tableau Names Former AWS Executive New CEO, Co-Founder Chabot Becomes Chairman

Business analytics software developer Tableau Software has tapped former Amazon Web Services executive Adam Selipsky to be the company's new president and CEO effective Sept. 16, the company said Monday.

Selipsky is taking over for Christian Chabot, Tableau co-founder and current CEO, who will continue to serve as the chairman of the company's board of directors.

The move comes with the company, widely perceived as one of the leaders among next-generation business analytics software providers, growing at a rapid pace. It also comes on the heels of the introduction of Tableau 10, the latest edition of the company's visual analytics software that allows users to analyze, visualize and share data.

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"Adam is going to take Tableau to the next level," Chabot said in a statement. "His experience in making AWS the world’s leading cloud platform, his passion for servicing customers at a global scale, and his authentic team-player attitude make him an extraordinary fit for Tableau. He is the right person to lead Tableau to the next stage of growth."

Seattle-based Tableau reported sales of $370.2 million for the first six months of 2016, up 32 percent from $280.0 million in the first half of 2015. But the company remains unprofitable, recording a $93.1 million loss for the first six months of this year compared to a net loss of $29.0 million in the first half of 2015.

The company is also facing increasing competition from Qlik and other suppliers of data visualization and analysis tools, as well as from established vendors like Microsoft.

Between Dec. 31, 2015 and Aug. 22 the company's stock declined 42 percent from $94.22 to $54.87. Tuesday morning the stock jumped nearly 11 percent on news of the management change.

Selipsky has been with Seattle-based Amazon Web Services for more than 10 years and, as vice president of marketing, sales and support for the Amazon business unit, has played a key role in the cloud service provider's explosive growth.

"Tableau has that rare combination of a passionate customer base, leading products, amazingly talented people, dedication to technology innovation, and momentum in the market," Selipsky said in a statement. "The company is positioned to become the new world standard in analytics. I’m honored to join the leadership team and all the great people that have fueled Tableau’s disruption of business analytics."

Chabot will continue to assist the company with long-term strategy planning and customer outreach, according to the company.

Tableau is also making several changes in the company's technology management ranks. Chris Stolte, co-founder and chief development officer, will transition to technical advisor. Andrew Beers, a developer with Tableau since 2004 and vice president of product development since 2010, will take over as chief development officer and lead the company's development team.

Francois Ajenstat, a long-time product leader at the company, will become chief product officer and report to Beers.

The changes come less than a week after the company unveiled Tableau 10, a significantly redesigned edition of the company's flagship software with new analytical and mobile capabilities and more data preparation options. The latter includes a new cross-database join feature for bringing together disparate data sources at the row level, and cross-database filtering for applying a single data filter to multiple data sources.

The release also offers a range of new features and functions to boost its appeal for enterprise deployments, including more tools for IT administrators to manage Tableau Server deployments, gain better visibility into the usage of Tableau Desktop licenses, and control user login for multi-tenant deployments.

Tableau 10 also provides new APIs that developers can use to write custom applications that work with the data analysis software.

"This is taking away lots of complexity for end-users," said Craig Bloodworth, CTO at The Information Lab, a London, U.K.-based Tableau gold partner. He pointed to a new drag-and-drop clustering feature that automatically identifies patterns and groups data, calling it "crazy easy."

Such capabilities, he said, make it possible for The Information Lab and its clients to devote less effort to data preparation and more to data analysis. That also makes it an easier sell, he said. "As a partner, especially as a reseller, the easier it is for our customers to use, the better."