Amazon Veteran will Return to Lead AWS when Jassy Moves into CEO Role

Adam Selipsky Amazon AWS

Former Amazon exec Adam Selipsky will return to lead the company’s cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, when current AWS chief Andy Jassy steps into the CEO role later this year.

The news is part of an ongoing reshuffle of Amazon’s top brass following the announcement that founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will step down from the helm after 25 years and move into the role of Executive Chair in Q3 2021. Word of Selipsky’s appointment was communicated to AWS employees in a letter from Jassy on March 23, which AWS has now publicly published.

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team,” said Jassy in the letter.

AWS is the ecommerce giant’s primary profit driver. The division brought in more than $13.5 billion in annual operating profit in 2020, which GeekWire calculates as 63% of the company’s total operating profits for the year. AWS is currently the lead cloud computing platform, controlling more than one-third of the market, almost twice that of its next closest competitor, according to Investopedia.


“With a $51 billion 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,” said Jassy in the letter. “Less than 5% of the global IT spend is in the cloud at this point. That’s going to substantially change in the coming years. 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.”

Selipsky had worked in varying roles at Amazon Web Services for 11 years before leaving to lead the data analytics startup Tableau Software in 2016. Tableau was acquired by Salesforce in 2019 for $15.7 billion.

Selipsky will return to Amazon on May 17 and spend several weeks transitioning before officially taking over the AWS CEO role in Q3, according to Jassy’s letter.

Jassy’s stewardship of AWS over nearly two decades and the division’s rapid growth during that time were cited as key credentials in his ability to run the larger company. Now, as he moves into the CEO role, one of Jassy’s biggest challenges will be “increasing and/or maintaining AWS market share against growing competition (Google, Azure, Alibaba) in an increasingly saturated market,” said Miya Knights, Director at Zendu Contracting Services and co-author of Amazon and Omnichannel Retail in an interview with Retail TouchPoints when Jassy’s appointment was announced in February.

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