People

Nine things you need to know about the new AWS CEO

Adam Selipsky, CEO of data-viz company Tableau, will become the new head of AWS in May.

Nine things you need to know about the new AWS CEO

Adam Selipsky, the new CEO of AWS.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Adam Selipsky, the current CEO of data visualization company Tableau, will become the new CEO of AWS on May 17, landing what is objectively one of the most important jobs in tech. AWS revenue hit more than $12 billion in the last quarter of 2020, which makes up about 10% of Amazon's total sales, and most industry experts consider this just the beginning for the company's cloud growth.

Here are nine things you should know about Selipsky.

  • He's an AWS veteran. Selipsky was one of the first VPs of AWS in 2005, hired to work at Amazon right before the company launched its first popular data storage services. He went on to run AWS's sales, marketing and support division for more than a decade, helping prime AWS for the behemoth it would become. He helped lead the company's EC2 and S3 storage service when it launched shortly after his hire.
  • He helped nearly quadruple Tableau's value during his time as CEO. Selipsky became Tableau CEO in 2016, and he led the company's transition to subscription licensing for its software, embracing a popular and lucrative trend for SaaS companies at the time.
  • And then he sold to Salesforce. Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion in 2019, and Selipsky stayed on as CEO. Most enterprise companies have either Tableau or Salesforce in their stack, opening up a huge new range of potential customers for Salesforce, according to Marc Benioff.
  • Marc Benioff considered Selipsky a key leader at Salesforce. When asked why investors should be paying attention to Salesforce at a Goldman Sachs event in January 2021, Benioff name-checked Selipsky. We "have so many other CEOs in our midst like Adam Selipsky, the CEO of Tableau," Benioff said.
  • Selipsky wasn't necessarily the betting favorite for this job. That would probably have been Matt Garman, the AWS executive who currently holds Selipsky's former role. But Selipsky's role was left empty for years, and Garman was only moved over to that position last year; he was president of the compute services division for years before that.
  • He has a long marketing background. Before he joined AWS, Selipsky was a VP at RealNetworks, where he was eventually responsible for more than a third of the company's revenue. He spent much of his time there as a VP for consumer marketing and a GM for media systems marketing.
  • He's a Seattle native. He's an alumnus of Seattle's Lakeside School, and RealNetworks, AWS and Tableau were and still are based there under his tenure. Seattle also became Salesforce's second headquarters after the Tableau acquisition.
  • He's a Harvard grad through and through. He got both his bachelor's and MBA at Harvard, where he studied government in undergrad.
  • He loves wine and waterskiing. He's a former board member of the Silver Lake Winery in the Seattle area, and he calls himself a "wine guy." He also loves to water ski, and even offered a water skiing experience at a Washington Technology Industry Association Gala.

After he takes on the new role in May, Selipsky will "spend the subsequent weeks transitioning together" with Amazon CEO and former AWS CEO Andy Jassy, before assuming the top job sometime in the fall. And while Selipsky is not what anyone would call an out-of-the-box hire, hey, at least his name isn't Jeff.

A version of this story will be in tomorrow's Source Code newsletter. Subscribe here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the Washington Technology Industry Association Gala. This story was updated on March 24, 2021.

Climate

2- and 3-wheelers dominate oil displacement by EVs

Increasingly widespread EV adoption is starting to displace the use of oil, but there's still a lot of work to do.

More electric mopeds on the road could be an oil demand game-changer.

Photo: Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash

Electric vehicles are starting to make a serious dent in oil use.

Last year, EVs displaced roughly 1.5 million barrels per day, according to a new analysis from BloombergNEF. That is more than double the share EVs displaced in 2015. The majority of the displacement is coming from an unlikely source.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (ljenkins@protocol.com).

Sponsored Content

Foursquare data story: leveraging location data for site selection

We take a closer look at points of interest and foot traffic patterns to demonstrate how location data can be leveraged to inform better site selecti­on strategies.

Imagine: You’re the leader of a real estate team at a restaurant brand looking to open a new location in Manhattan. You have two options you’re evaluating: one site in SoHo, and another site in the Flatiron neighborhood. Which do you choose?

Keep Reading Show less
Enterprise

The limits of AI and automation for digital accessibility

AI and automated software that promises to make the web more accessible abounds, but people with disabilities and those who regularly test for digital accessibility problems say it can only go so far.

The everyday obstacles blocking people with disabilities from a satisfying digital experience are immense.

Image: alexsl/Getty Images

“It’s a lot to listen to a robot all day long,” said Tina Pinedo, communications director at Disability Rights Oregon, a group that works to promote and defend the rights of people with disabilities.

But listening to a machine is exactly what many people with visual impairments do while using screen reading tools to accomplish everyday online tasks such as paying bills or ordering groceries from an ecommerce site.

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

Fintech

The crypto crash's violence shocked Circle's CEO

Jeremy Allaire remains upbeat about stablecoins despite the UST wipeout, he told Protocol in an interview.

Allaire said what really caught him by surprise was “how fast the death spiral happened and how violent of a value destruction it was.”

Photo: Heidi Gutman/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said he saw the UST meltdown coming about six months ago, long before the stablecoin crash rocked the crypto world.

“This was a house of cards,” he told Protocol. “It was very clear that it was unsustainable and that there would be a very high risk of a death spiral.”

Keep Reading Show less
Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342.

A DTC baby formula startup is caught in the center of a supply chain crisis

After weeks of “unprecedented growth,” Bobbie co-founder Laura Modi made a hard decision: to not accept any more new customers.

Parents unable to track down formula in stores have been turning to Facebook groups, homemade formula recipes and Bobbie, a 4-year-old subscription baby formula company.

Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

The ongoing baby formula shortage has taken a toll on parents throughout the U.S. Laura Modi, co-founder of formula startup Bobbie, said she’s been “wearing the hat of a mom way more than that of a CEO” in recent weeks.

“It's scary to be a parent right now, with the uncertainty of knowing you can’t find your formula,” Modi told Protocol.

Keep Reading Show less
Nat Rubio-Licht

Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter.

Latest Stories
Bulletins