Amazon has chosen Adam Selipsky, currently CEO of Salesforce’s own data visualization software manufacturer Tableau, to lead its Amazon Web Services division. Andy Jassy, the current head of AWS and the person replacing Jeff Bezos as head of Amazon, informed employees in an email on Tuesday.
Amazon rules the market for public cloud infrastructures that companies use to run internal and external applications. This is a modern alternative to using internal servers, storage and network devices. In 2019, industry research firm Gartner estimated that Amazon had a 45% market share, more than any other company, including Microsoft and Google. As such, Selipsky becomes the most visible person in the growing category, perhaps second only to Jassy, who takes on a bigger job when he becomes CEO of Amazon in the third quarter.
Selipsky is one of the people who identified several insiders as a possible successor to Jassy. Selipsky held a prominent position within AWS as Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Support before heading the then public Tableau in 2016. Salesforce bought Tableau in 2019 for $ 15.7 billion.
The role that Selipsky left on Amazon was vacant for years. Last year, AWS selected CEO Matt Garman, who worked on AWS ‘core EC2 virtual computing service, to take the position.
Selipsky was seen as a rising star within Salesforce after taking over Tableau. At an event hosted by Goldman Sachs in January, the bank’s CEO David Solomon asked Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to share something that investors don’t fully appreciate about his company. As part of his response, Benioff listed some top executives.
We have “as many other CEOs in our midst as Adam Selipsky, the CEO of Tableau,” said Benioff. “Soon we will have Stewart, CEO of Slack,” he added, referring to Stewart Butterfield. Selipsky has remained President and CEO of Tableau since the acquisition. Mark Nelson, who joined Tableau in 2018 as executive vice president of product development from SAP’s own expense management service Concur, where he was previously chief technology officer, will become the new head of Tableau, a Salesforce spokesperson told CNBC in an email.
Mark Hawkins, Salesforce CFO, answered a question about Tableau integration in December. He said, “It’s a first-class asset, unique in the world. Great leadership team, great CEO with Adam Selipsky and the management team.”
Selipsky joined Amazon in 2005, a year before the company introduced EC2 and the S3 storage service, and stayed for 11 years. Previously, he was Vice President at RealNetworks.
A copy of the memo follows. Amazon later confirmed the move in a blog post.
I want to announce that Adam Selipsky will be the next CEO of AWS.
Adam is not a new face for AWS. In 2005, Adam was one of the first vice presidents we hired at AWS, heading up sales, marketing, and support for AWS (as well as a few other areas such as our AWS Platform services for a period of time) for 11 years. Adam then became CEO of Tableau in 2016 and has led Tableau for the past 4.5 years. Tableau experienced significant success during Adam’s tenure as CEO – the company’s value quadrupled in just a few years, Tableau shifted from perpetual to subscription licenses through a fundamental change in its business model, and the company was eventually acquired by Salesforce in 2019, making the largest software acquisitions in history. After the acquisition, Adam remained CEO of Tableau and 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 executive team. And after holding such a high position at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and our business well.
With $ 51 billion in revenue growing 28% year over year (these were the fourth quarter 2020 numbers we last shared publicly), it’s easy to forget that AWS is still at the very early stages of the Possible. Currently, less than 5% of global IT spending is in the cloud. That will change significantly in the years to come. We have a lot more to invent for our customers and we have a very strong leadership team and group of builders to make that happen. I look forward to what lies ahead of us.
PS Adam will be returning to AWS on May 17th. We’ll spend the following weeks switching together before making the change sometime in the third quarter.
– CNBC’s Ari Levy contributed to this report.