5 Top AWS Executives Who Resigned, Departed In 2023

From AWS presidents to professional services leaders, here are five of the biggest executive departures from Amazon Web Services in 2023 that you should know about.

Amazon Web Services has seen the departure of several big executives in 2023, including a president, vice presidents and former professional services leaders.

AWS isn’t growing sales as fast as it did in previous years, but it is still the worldwide leader in cloud computing, owning roughly one-third of the global cloud market. The $85 billion Seattle-based company generated $21.4 billion in total sales during the first quarter of 2023, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 16 percent.

This year, AWS witnessed the exit of some longtime and important executives who have helped shape the company into what it is today, such as Chris Vonderhaar, who was critical in leading AWS’ massive multibillion-dollar data center business for over a decade.

[Related: AWS Director, Sales Leader Jumps To Innovative Solutions]

AWS 2023 Layoffs

As 2023 kicked off, AWS parent company Amazon unveiled it would be laying off more than 18,000 employees. Sources told CRN at the time that AWS would not be significantly impacted by the 18,000-employee layoff round as these layoffs would affect Amazon stores and its human resources People, Experience and Technology (PXT) organization.

However, in March, Amazon unveiled a new round of 9,000 layoffs inside the company, which would see the exit of some AWS employees. AWS told CRN this year that the 9,000-employee layoff round would impact a “small, single-digit percentage” of AWS staff. AWS consistently declines to say how many people it employs globally. However, the terminations mean at least hundreds—more likely a few thousand—of AWS employees were cut. It might have been the single largest layoff round in AWS’ history, although layoff and employment figures cannot be officially verified.

CRN breaks down the five top AWS executives who left the cloud computing company in 2023 that you should know about.

Chris Vonderhaar

Last Role: VP, AWS Data Center

Years At AWS: 13

Chris Vonderhaar suddenly left AWS this year after being in charge of the company’s critical data center business. The 13-year AWS veteran was responsible for the design, planning, construction and operations of AWS’ massive data center fleet on a worldwide basis.

Vonderhaar first joined AWS in 2010 as director of infrastructure planning and product management, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was promoted to vice president of infrastructure forecasting, planning and Amazon corporate systems in 2017, responsible for data center capacity planning, real estate sourcing and service delivery for AWS and Amazon product teams. Vonderhaar has been vice president of the AWS data center community since late 2018.

AWS declined to comment on Vonderhaar’s departure in May. In addition to leading AWS’ data center global strategy, Vonderhaar was responsible for business development and procurement of utility connections, the AWS renewable energy portfolio, and AWS sustainability teams and business, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Puneet Chandok

Last Role: President, Commercial Services, India, South Asia

Years At AWS: 4

This year, AWS said it will invest $12.7 billion into India in a move to boost the company’s position and market reach in the country. Just a few weeks after this announcement, AWS’ leader of India and South Asia—Puneet Chandok—resigned from the company.

AWS has confirmed that Chandok, president of commercial services for AWS India and South Asia, had resigned from the cloud company. Vaishali Kasture, head of enterprise for AWS’ midmarket and global businesses in India and South Asia, took on the role of interim leader of commercial business at the unit, AWS said regarding Chandok’s resignation.

Chandok is an industry veteran, having held top roles in India and Asia for IBM and McKinsey & Company prior to joining AWS in 2019.

AWS CEO Adam Selipsky said his company is keen on boosting customer innovation and its cloud reach in India with its new $12.7 billion investment. “AWS has long been vested in India’s growth as a digital powerhouse, and I’m inspired to see how our infrastructure presence since 2016 has driven such tremendous progress,” said Selipsky in May. “This will bring our total investment to $16.4 billion by 2030—boosting the country’s GDP, supporting tens of thousands of jobs, and continuing to help customers innovate.”

Arrian Mehis

Last Role: Managing Director, U.S. Services Sales, Delivery

Years At AWS: 7

AWS’ leader of professional services in the U.S., Arrian Mehis, recently left the cloud giant to become CRO of AWS Premier Services Partner Innovative Solutions. He left AWS in June as managing director for U.S. services sales and delivery, responsible for driving a transformational sales strategy to help customers adopt the AWS cloud.

He led hundreds of AWS sales and delivery employees while managing $665 million in bookings at the cloud giant during his seven-year stint at AWS.

“Arrian led all of the sales teams for professional services at AWS for the United States. He has a track record at AWS, Rackspace and at Dell of helping achieve massive, scalable sales growth,” Justin Copie, CEO of Innovative Solutions, told CRN. “He has a track record of doing it for three other companies and that’s exactly what we are aiming for with our 400 percent [AWS] growth plan over the next three years.”

Tom Lash

Last Role: GM, National Security, Federal Delivery

Years At AWS: 6

AWS national security leader Tom Lash left the company in March to become CEO of Meadowgate Technologies. He joined the company in 2017 to create and lead the Federal Delivery Organization responsible for contract execution of AWS’ U.S. federal portfolio. He also led the U.S. National Security account team of more than 125 cleared technology account professionals as general manager.

Founded in 2006, Meadowgate Technologies is a solution provider focused on the federal government sector, specializing in systems engineering, IT consulting and product procurement to meet the unique needs of each federal agency or industry customer.

Just a few weeks after becoming CEO of Meadowgate Technologies, the company merged with Engineering Solutions. The companies said the merger created a market leader in hybrid solutions and professional services for the national security community.

Todd Weatherby

Last Role: VP, AWS Professional Services Worldwide

Years At AWS: 10

Todd Weatherby, the former head of AWS’ global ProServe (professional services) business, left AWS this year after more than 10 years at the company. As the worldwide leader of AWS’ professional services business, he helped some of the largest enterprises across the globe realize business outcomes using AWS’ cloud platform.

“Todd launched the AWS ProServe business in 2012 from a six-pager and led its growth and development for a decade,” said Matt Garman, senior vice president of sales and marketing at AWS, in an internal email obtained by Business Insider. “Under Todd, the team expanded to thousands of customers and employees, established practices in 60-plus countries, and became a significant global business.”

Weatherby spent 16 years at Microsoft before jumping to AWS in 2012.