AWS Storage VP Leaves For Microsoft Azure

‘Building out world class storage services [at Azure],’ wrote Ahmed Shihab on LinkedIn regarding his new role at Microsoft.

Amazon Web Services Vice President of AWS Infrastructure Hardware Ahmed Shihab has left the company to go to cloud computing rival Microsoft Azure.

Shihab was responsible for the innovation, building and operation of all of AWS’ storage and compute systems, spending approximately eight years at AWS.

He is now corporate vice president of Azure Storage at Microsoft.

“Building out world class storage services [at Azure],” Shihab wrote on LinkedIn regarding his new Microsoft role.

[Related: AWS, Oracle, Google, Microsoft Top Cloud DBMS Market: Gartner]

Microsoft confirmed Shihab’s hiring but declined to provide CRN with any information on his new role and responsibilities at Azure Storage.

AWS and Microsoft Azure compete heavily in several massive tech industries such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and cloud storage, including in object, file and block storage. For example, AWS is the world’s market-share leader in cloud computing with 31 percent share, while Microsoft is currently ranked No. 2 in the global market with 24 percent share.

Shihab has over three decades of experience in the tech industry, including top executive positions at storage company NetApp and cloud storage provider Xyratex.

AWS Data Center Leader Left For Google Cloud

Last year, AWS lost its top data center executive Chris Wonderhaar.

After 13 years of leading AWS’ data center and infrastructure strategy, Wonderhaar left to join rival Google Cloud. He was responsible for the design, planning and construction and operations of AWS’ large data center fleet on a global basis, which houses AWS storage hardware that help power its cloud services.

Another recent executive loss on the AWS hardware team came from Thomas Witman, the former leader of the AWS Data Center Learning Group. After more than a decade with AWS, Witman recently jumped to data center giant Equinix as its new senior director of global learning and development.

Amazon Layoffs In 2024 Haven’t Impacted AWS

AWS parent company Amazon has announced several layoff rounds in 2024 that totaled over 1,000 employees.

CRN discovered last month that Amazon’s layoff rounds this year did not impact AWS.

Amazon employees in its livestreaming video company Twitch, and workers inside its Prime Video and MGM Studios team were affected the most.

The roughly 1,000 layoffs at Amazon in early 2024 compares with the 27,000 layoffs Amazon conducted in early 2023. CRN discovered that AWS employees were impacted by the 2023 layoffs.