AWS CEO Adam Selipsky Is Resigning

In a surprise announcement, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky has announced he is resigning from the role he has had for the last three years....
AWS CEO Adam Selipsky Is Resigning
Written by Matt Milano
  • In a surprise announcement, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky has announced he is resigning from the role he has had for the last three years.

    Selipsky took over as head of AWS in mid-2021 when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stepped down and AWS CEO Andy Jassy took Bezos’ job. Despite only holding the role for roughly three years, Selipsky says he is stepping down June 3.

    In a message to employees, Andy Jassy, Selipsky, and Matt Garman laid out the change and plan of succession. Selipsky said he is resigning to consider other possibilities:

    Leading this amazing team and the AWS business is a big job, and I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished going from a start-up to where we are today. In the back of my head I thought there might be another chapter down the road at some point, but I never wanted to distract myself from what we are all working so hard to achieve. Given the state of the business and the leadership team, now is an appropriate moment for me to make this transition, and to take the opportunity to spend more time with family for a while, recharge a bit, and create some mental free space to reflect and consider the possibilities.

    Jassy highlighted the various endeavors Selipsky has overseen, expressing his appreciation for his hard work:

    I’d like to thank Adam for everything he’s done to lead AWS over the past three years. He took over in the middle of the pandemic, which presented a wide array of leadership and business challenges. Under his direction, the team made the right long-term decision to help customers become more efficient in their spend, even if it meant less short-term revenue for AWS. Throughout, the team continued to invent and release new services at a rapid clip, including several impactful Generative AI services, such as Amazon Bedrock and Amazon Q. Adam leaves AWS in a strong position, having reached a $100 billion annual revenue run rate this past quarter, with YoY revenue accelerating again. And perhaps most importantly, AWS continues to lead on operational performance, security, reliability, and the overall breadth and depth of our services. I’m deeply appreciative of Adam’s leadership during this time, and for the entire team’s dedication to deliver for customers and the business.

    Jassy said Matt Garman will take over as CEO of AWS:

    Matt has an unusually strong set of skills and experiences for his new role. He’s very customer focused, a terrific product leader, inventive, a clever problem-solver, right a lot, has high standards and meaningful bias for action, and in the 18 years he’s been in AWS, he’s been one of the better learners I’ve encountered. Matt knows our customers and business as well as anybody in the world, and has senior leadership experience on both the product and demand generation sides. I’m excited to see Matt and his outstanding AWS leadership team continue to invent our future—it’s still such early days in AWS.

    Jassy framed the change as something expected, especially given the terms that were established when Selipsky took over the reins at AWS:

    Adam Selipsky was one of the first VPs we hired in AWS back in 2005, and spent 11 years excellently leading AWS Sales, Marketing, and Support, before leaving to become the CEO of Tableau. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Adam, and we met several times to discuss the possibility of coming back to lead AWS. In those conversations, we agreed that if he accepted the role, he’d likely do it for a few years, and that one of the things he’d focus on during that time was helping prepare the next generation of leadership.

    Despite the move being framed in this context, Selipsky’s time at AWS has not been without controversy. Selipsky has struggled to motivate some staff, especially in his efforts to force employees back to the office. The CEO famously angered employees by citing “serendipity” rather than actual data to support his RTO mandate.

    Selipsky also struggled to reassure customers they could save money with cloud computing when many were looking at burgeoning pay-as-you-go budgets.

    The coming months will be interesting to watch, with Garman’s actions as CEO shedding light on whether this is a pre-arranged transition, or if there is another reason behind it.

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