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Photo via Tableau.
Photo via Tableau.

Tableau Software is slowing down its ambitious hiring plans for 2016.

Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot. Photo via Tableau.
Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot. Photo via Tableau.

The Seattle-based maker of data visualization software reported its first quarter earnings on Thursday, beating analyst expectations but disappointing investors as shares fell by more than 10 percent in after-hours trading.

Chabot told GeekWire this past December that Tableau planned to bring on another 1,000 employees this year — 600 in Seattle — which was a 33 percent increase from its current 3,000. But today on the company’s earnings call, Chabot said that Tableau has scaled back those plans by about 50 percent.

Tableau CFO Tom Walker said the company saw a 45 percent increase in sales and marketing employees from last year and it wants to focus on productivity with its existing employees.

“We have a lot of talented people here and we want to make sure they are focused and can execute at levels we want,” Walker said. “We aren’t compromising on what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Chabot also said he is working to hire a president by the end of 2016, a new role for the 14-year-old company that will focus on go-to-market activities. The CEO explained how software companies come in three acts: going from $0 to $100 million in annual revenue, going from $100 million to $1 billion, and then beyond. He said Tableau is nearing the end of Act 2, closing in on $1 billion in annual sales.

“It’s pretty common at this phase to add a president or COO,” he said.

Tableau employs 1,200 across four offices in the Seattle region, where it will move into a new headquarters building in the Fremont neighborhood later in 2016.

Thursday’s financial update follows Tableau’s disappointing Q4 2015 earnings report, which sent shares down 50 percent. The company’s stock did recover a bit in the past quarter, but is still down nearly 50 percent in the past year, trading at just under $50 a share.

Tableau IPO’d in 2013 at $31 per share. Its market capitalization is $3.7 billion.

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