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Salesforce Patches Up a ‘Flop’ With $15 Billion Bet on Tableau

  • Company's largest deal to tap business intelligence market
  • Benioff calls Tableau his `brother from another mother'
Marc Benioff
Marc BenioffPhotographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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Salesforce.com Inc.‘s $15.3 billion acquisition of software maker Tableau Software Inc. will move the company further away from its central business, marking a new era for the top seller of software for managing customer relationships.

The all-stock deal, which the companies announced Monday, is Salesforce’s largest transaction ever -- dwarfing its purchase last year of MuleSoft Inc. for $6.5 billion, the previous record. Tableau will bring San Francisco-based Salesforce into the business intelligence market, far deeper into analytics than it has previously ventured. Investors were skeptical, sending Salesforce shares to their worst day in almost seven months.