With its $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau Software, announced Monday morning, Salesforce isn’t just making a bet on a single company, or on the business intelligence and data visualization market. It’s betting on Seattle as a source of future hiring and growth, escalating the competition for tech talent in the region.
“Seattle will become our second headquarters of Salesforce,” said Marc Benioff, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, in his prepared remarks on a conference call discussing the deal. “It’s going to be our HQ2, if you will.”
That was a thinly veiled reference to Amazon, one of the tech companies that Salesforce will be competing against as it looks to expand its operations. Salesforce already has a sizable presence in the Seattle area, employing more than 1,000 people in the area as one of more than 100 tech companies from the Bay Area and other regions that have established engineering centers in the region.
“I am a huge admirer of the talent market in Seattle,” Benioff said later, during the Q&A portion of the call. “You know, there’s very few places in the world today where you can put together a software company at scale.”
He added, “We know that because we’re all over the world, we’re throughout the United States and we can see various levels of talent available in different markets,” Benioff said. “Seattle is a really unique market and has just tremendous, tremendous talent. We just easily grew a thousand people there. I was like, wow, you know, Tableau, not only do you get this incredible customer capability, but our ability to make this geography a strategic part of Salesforce, that is something I have quested for a long time, so it’s those two things together.”
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Following the acquisition, Tableau will remain headquartered in Seattle, operating independently under the Tableau brand, and led by CEO Adam Selipsky, the companies said. Read more