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Why a bunch of cartoon characters are on the last slide of the Salesforce-Tableau investor deck

Key Points
  • The last slide of the investor deck explaining the Salesforce-Tableau deal had a "Thank you" slide with a bunch of cartoon characters on it.
  • Max the Mule joined through last year's acquisition of MuleSoft.
  • Meet the Trailhead Crew.

Salesforce announced plans to buy data intelligence giant Tableau Software for $15.3 billion early Monday morning, and released a slide deck for investors to help explain the deal.

The last slide of that deck, which was filed to the SEC, has a big "Thank You" above a picture of several cartoon characters, including one that looks like Albert Einstein, in a forest:

via Salesforce

If you don't follow Salesforce closely, you might be puzzled.

The company offers an explanation for most of these characters in a 2017 blog post. They're called the Trailhead Crew, and they're meant to represent "the fun side of our company and inspire our Ohana to blaze new trails." (Ohana is a Hawaiian word meaning "family" and, in Salesforce parlance, refers to employees, customers or other stakeholders. Co-founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff is a big fan of Hawaiian culture and the islands.)

The characters are, from left to right:

  • Cloudy the goat, who is meant to represent people building apps on Salesforce's cloud as well as general inspiration — she "brings out the best in everyone and encourages you to tap into your own unlimited potential."
  • Appy the cat, who is a guide to the apps available on Salesforce's AppExchange.
  • Codey the bear, who represents coders — "tackling projects and getting his paws dirty."
  • Astro the small person, is a guide to all things Salesforce.
  • Max the Mule was inherited during Salesforce's last big acquisition, application integration company MuleSoft, which it bought for $6.5 billion in 2018.
  • Einstein refers to Salesforce's artificial intelligence technology, which is meant to help users discover insights stored in the system.

They're all on a trail in the woods as a reference to Trailhead, the company's platform for training users so they can get more out of the company's services.

Not included in the picture is SaaSy, the company's dancing cloud mascot, representing the company's emphasis on cloud services instead of software that runs locally in company data centers.

No word yet from Salesforce if Tableau will get its own mascot through the deal.

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