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Former 23-Year AWS Vet Charlie Bell Snags Microsoft Job: Reports

Bell, a former AWS senior vice president who had been considered a prime candidate to replace former AWS CEO Andy Jassy, left the cloud provider earlier this month.

Longtime Amazon Web Services veteran Charlie Bell, who left the Seattle cloud provider earlier this month, has landed a position across Lake Washington at Microsoft —AWS’ chief cloud computing rival

— according to multiple published reports.

Bell, who had been a senior vice president of the team that oversees AWS engineering, operations and product, left AWS after more than 23 years amid other leadership team changes under new CEO Adam Selipsky, who replaced founding AWS CEO Andy Jassy on July 5.

Insider first reported Bell’s reported new job at Microsoft. The Information, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter, reported that Bell is listed as a corporate vice president on a Microsoft organizational chart and, at least initially, will report to Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer.

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Bell had been considered a prime candidate to replace Jassy as AWS’ second CEO since its 2006 launch. It’s unclear whether his departure is tied to Selipsky landing that position. Selipsky, who previously served as vice president of marketing, sales and support for AWS until he became CEO of Seattle Tableau Software in 2016, had previously been with AWS for 11 years.

Also unclear is whether Bell’s tenure at AWS came with any non-compete restrictions. He also was a member of Amazon’s S-Team, a group of about 26 senior Amazon executives that meets regularly with Amazon’s CEO to confer on strategic decisions facing the company.

Microsoft declined comment when reached by CRN, and Bell and AWS could not be reached immediately for comment. Bell’s LinkedIn and Twitter pages still list him as working for AWS.

Selipsky this month named Peter DeSantis, who had been AWS’ senior vice president of global infrastructure and customer support, as AWS’ next leader of utility computing (UC). He also named Prasad Kalyanaraman, a 16-year AWSer who had been vice president of network services since November 2019, as AWS’ new leader for infrastructure and network services.

In an email to AWS employees announcing the appointments and Bell’s departure, Selipsky praised Bell’s “phenomenal service” at AWS.

“Charlie has been instrumental in so many of the most important initiatives at Amazon, it would be impossible to list them all,” Selipsky said. “His impact has been deeply felt across the entire company and literally across decades. We wish him the best and thank him for all of his contributions and for the innovation he has driven.”

Bell joined Amazon in 1998, when it acquired Server Technologies Group, the startup he had founded two years earlier to build internet commerce transaction software. He moved from leading’s software and systems infrastructure to his AWS services leadership role in 2006, managing its product definition, pricing, P&Ls, software development and service operations.

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