Salesforce completes $15.7B acquisition of Tableau Software, creating new enterprise tech force

The deal shakes up the Seattle tech scene and instantly makes Salesforce a major player for talent in the region. Making Seattle, and its plentiful tech talent, a key strategic part of Salesforce has long been a company goal, Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff has said. The company even referred to Seattle as its new “HQ2.”

“Tableau is an extraordinary company, with an amazing product and team and an incredibly passionate community,” Benioff said in a statement. “Together we can transform the way people understand not only their customers but their whole world — delivering powerful AI-driven insights across all types of data and use cases for people of every skill level.”

The all-stock deal is Salesforce’s biggest acquisition yet. It was first announced in early June and it was projected to close by the end of October.

The turnaround was quick for an acquisition of this size, with similar deals often facing much longer periods of regulatory scrutiny. Salesforce said it will issue new guidance on how the acquisition impacts its financial situation going forward.

Marc Benioff, Salesforce co-founder and co-CEO

Tableau will remain based in Seattle and continue to operate independently under the Tableau brand, led by CEO Adam Selipsky, a former Amazon Web Services executive.

Announcement of the merger completion comes just hours after Tableau quietly issued its latest financial update. The company reported $322 million in revenue in the second quarter, a figure that fell short of analyst expectations, and accelerated losses.

The deal promises to escalate the competition between Salesforce and Microsoft, which competes with Tableau through its Power BI data visualisation and business intelligence technology. The Redmond-based tech giant already competes heavily with Salesforce’s core business with its Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management technology.

In a press release, the companies said their alliance will accelerate their ability to help other organisations with digital transformation. They cited a figure from the International Data Corp. that companies will spend $1.8 trillion on digital transformation services in 2022 alone.

“The ability to rapidly turn all distributed data into insight using diverse visualization, analytics and AI methods will define tomorrow’s leaders,” said Dan Vesset, group vice president of analytics and information management research at IDC. “Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau gives customers the ability to ensure that self-service and embedded decision support and augmentation is available to all executives, managers and front line employees.”

Published by: Nat Levy