Inside his second-floor office overlooking Lake Union in Seattle, Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot peers out the window at his company’s new headquarters set to open next year.
“See that yellow crane?” he asks. “That’s where it is. They just put the front windows on, the ones that face Gas Works Park.”
The new 210,000 square-foot building in the quirky-yet-hip Fremont neighborhood can’t open soon enough for Tableau.
In an interview with GeekWire, Chabot revealed that the 2,800-person data visualization software company plans to hire another 1,000 employees in 2016.
About 600 of those new positions will be in Seattle, where Tableau already employs 1,200 across four offices. In the second half of 2016, the company will open the new headquarters at the four-story NorthEdge building — it will also keep all of its current offices spread across Fremont, in addition to two other buildings in Kirkland.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Chabot said of the hiring plans. “You’re only able to do this if the business is flourishing, but if it is flourishing, then you’re able to bring in the next generation of talent.”
The growth plan is stunning for a company which started humbly with technology from Stanford University, and has called Fremont home from its earliest days in 2003.
Tableau currently has 14 locations around the world in places like Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and London, where Chabot spent a majority of 2015 at the company’s UK office. It plans to open a few more offices worldwide in 2016 as the business continues to expand internationally.
Tableau actually added 1,000 employees in 2015, too, and the company is confident it can do so again next year. Chabot said that increasing from 2,800 to 3,800 employees in one year is a “little bit easier” than when Tableau grew from 350 to 800 during the same time period several years ago.
“We’ve become quite good at recruiting, identifying, and on-boarding new folks,” Chabot said. “It’s not always easy. But, among other things, we have more exceptional people able to interview and vet the next generation, and of course help on-board them as they come on.”
Having a bigger brand and public stock recognition does not hurt, either.
Tableau, which counts 35,000 clients worldwide, reported $170.8 million in revenue in its most recent quarterly earnings report, up 64 percent year-over-year and 8 percent more than the $158 million analysts expected. It added 3,100 new customers in the quarter and closed 296 transactions greater than $100,000.
Tableau also made its first acquisition ever in August, swooping up Infoactive, a 3-year-old startup based out of Montreal that turns data into infographics, and released its first standalone mobile app in October.
It’s a bit uncommon for a company like Tableau to wait 12 years to make its first acquisition. But Chabot said there are plans to acquire other companies, including those with complementary technologies as well as enterprise software products that could push Tableau in entirely new directions.
“Now that we have gotten our feet wet, we do have interest in acquiring other technologies,” the CEO noted. “We periodically look at ones that look really interesting, and I expect that we will announce some over the next two years.”
Tableau, which saw its stock reach $129 a share earlier this year before dropping to about $88 last week, has come a long way since releasing the first iteration of its data visualization tool 12 years ago.
“It’s way beyond that,” Chabot explained. “We help customers integrate their data; compile their data; search their data; secure their data; roll data out to different groups with different permissions; use data for predictive capabilities. There is really a robust Tableau platform that is now 10 times the sophistication of that first tool we came out with.”
GeekWire’s John Cook contributed to this piece.