Amazon names former exec Adam Selipsky as the new head of AWS

Amazon has named Salesforce executive Adam Selipsky as the replacement for Andy Jassy, the longtime chief of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the company’s next CEO when founder Jeff Bezos steps down later this year. Selipsky worked at AWS for more than 10 years, raising to the rank of vice president of sales and marketing, before running the startup Tableau, which is now part of Salesforce. Selipsky’s hiring was first reported by CNBC, which published a memo Jassy sent to Amazon employees on Wednesday announcing the news.

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation, and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team. And, having been in such a senior role at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and business well,” Jassy wrote in the memo. Selipsky joined Salesforce when the cloud computing giant acquired Tableau in a monstrous $15.7 billion deal in 2019. Selipsky has been part of Salesforce’s executive leadership team since as Tableau’s acting CEO.

There was speculation as to whether Amazon would promote an existing AWS executive to take over Jassy’s role. Eyes were on Matt Garman, who was promoted to the top sales role last year, and Peter DeSantis, the general manager of AWS’s EC2 business, as potential candidates.

Ultimately, it looks like Jassy turned to a former colleague — and someone with a pretty stunning track record helping to push a midsized software company toward a $15 billion acquisition — as the top choice for his replacement to run AWS. Selipsky will rejoin Amazon in May, when he and Jassy will be “transitioning together” into their new roles in the lead-up to Bezos’ move to executive chairman of the board.

“With a $51B revenue run rate that’s growing 28% YoY (these were the Q4 2020 numbers we last publicly shared), it’s easy to forget that AWS is still in the very early stages of what’s possible,” Jassy wrote in the memo, referencing the less than 5 percent of global IT spend occurring in the cloud computing market. “We have a lot more to invent for customers, and we have a very strong leadership team and group of builders to go make it happen.”

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