AWS’ Data Center Leader Is Gone As Amazon Spends Billions On Expansion

Chris Vonderhaar, who was leading AWS’ massive global data center fleet, is no longer with the $85 billion cloud giant.


As Amazon Web Services pours billions into its ever-growing data center footprint, the cloud giant has lost its top data center executive and longtime AWS leader Chris Vonderhaar.

Vonderhaar (pictured) was responsible for the design, planning, construction and operations of AWS’ massive data center fleet on a worldwide basis. AWS data centers power the $85 billion cloud company’s infrastructure and cloud services.

AWS confirmed to CRN that Vonderhaar is no longer with the company.

Sponsored post

However, AWS declined to comment on Vonderhaar’s departure. The company also declined to say if AWS has found a replacement for Vonderhaar’s position yet. He had been with AWS for nearly 13 years in top cloud infrastructure roles.

[Related: Amazon Gets $1 Billion Tax Break To Build New Data Centers, AWS Regions]

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.

In 2021, news outlet Insider reported that Chris Vonderhaar could be a potential successor to former AWS CEO Andy Jassy, who had been recently promoted to CEO of Amazon.

AWS Spending Billions On Data Centers In 2023

Vonderhaar’s departure comes as AWS is investing heavily to expand its data center footprint both in America and abroad.

Just this month, Amazon unveiled plans to invest $12.7 billion in new data centers in India to expand its cloud capabilities and customer base in the region.

In January, Amazon unveiled its plan to invest a massive $35 billion in building new data centers across Virginia. In 2023, AWS launched two new AWS Local Zones in Australia and Chile, which are all powered by data centers.

In addition, AWS this year unveiled plans to invest $6 billion in data centers in Malaysia.

AWS is also set to build five new data centers in Oregon after local officials this month approved tax breaks worth an estimated $1 billion.

Chris Vonderhaar’s IT Career

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.

Prior to AWS, Vonderhaar was a top executive for Level 3 Communications from 1998 to 2008, where he was vice president of customer media operations. Level 3 was later acquired by CenturyLink. Before Level 3, he worked for Accenture and GE Capital during the 1990s.