Google Hires 5 New Execs From AWS, Databricks: Here’s Who

Here are five recent Google and Google Cloud hires who worked at Amazon Web Services that you should know about.

From former Amazon Web Services directors and principal scientists to top cybersecurity experts, Google is hiring a slew of top executives from its cloud rival AWS in 2023.

Based off of these hires, Google has landed: a new managing director of customer engineering for its public sector business; a new security and compliance leader and cloud CISO for Google Cloud; as well as a new distinguished engineer for the cloud computing giant.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant is growing profits faster than ever before, while at the same time investing heavily in generative AI and cloud computing innovation to get a leg up over its main competitors AWS and Microsoft.

[Related: Google Cloud Partner Wursta On ‘Exciting’ New AI In GCP, Workspace]

Google Cloud’s $32 Billion Run Rate

Before getting into Google’s recent IT hires from AWS, Databricks and more, it is important to point out that Google Cloud is growing sales and profits at a blistering rate.

In Q2 2023, Google Cloud captured a record $8 billion in sales during the quarter, representing an increase of 28 percent compared to Q2 2022. Additionally, Google Cloud reported operating income of $395 million in the quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter the cloud company generated a net positive profit.

Google Cloud is also launching a slew of solutions and offerings around generative AI, a red-hot market that it competes in with AWS and Microsoft. For example, at Google Cloud Next 2023, the company unleashed dozens of new products and features around generative AI, including around the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Google Workspace.

With Google Cloud looking to win more cloud market share, here are five executives that have left AWS and other companies to join Google Cloud over the past two months.

Elizabeth Moon

Google Position: Managing Director, Customer Engineering At Google Public Sector

Former Position: AWS; Director of AWS Solutions Architecture and Customer Success

Elizabeth Moon joined Google last month after more than eight years at Amazon Web Services. At AWS, Moon was director of AWS solutions architecture and customer success, tasked with leading a cross-functional organization aimed at empowering Amazon customers to innovate at scale. Moon was with AWS from 2014 until 2023.

Google hired Moon in August as managing director of customer engineering for Google Public Sector. “I’m excited to share that I’ve started a new chapter at Google Public Sector!” Moon said on LinkedIn.

Moon, who also worked at Oracle, recently posted that her team is looking to hire new senior tech executives. “My team of Customer Engineers / Solutions Architects is expanding. I am looking for a few senior tech leaders to join me in growing our Public Sector business,” Moon said on LinkedIn.

Robert Samuel

Google Position: Security and Compliance Lead, Cloud CISO, Google Cloud

Former Position: AWS; Principal, Security Assurance

Google Cloud has nabbed cybersecurity expert Robert Samuel as its new security and compliance leader. Samuel has a held a slew of top not security positions including operations chief of staff for the Department of National Defense in Canada, and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for the government of Nova Scotia.

He spent four years at AWS, with his last role being Principal of Security Assurance. He was also Head of Security Assurance for AWS’ Canada region.

”I’m happy to share that I’ve started a new position as Security and Compliance Lead, Cloud CISO, Google Cloud at Google!” he said last month on LinkedIn.

Yannis Papakonstantinou

Google Position: Distinguished Engineer, Google Cloud

Former Position: Databricks Architect; AWS Senior Principal Scientist

Google Cloud nabbed former Databricks and AWS executive Yannis Papakonstantinou as a distinguished engineer, tasked with help defining the company’s long-term technical and innovation strategy.

Papakonstantinou was a senior principal scientist at AWS from 2018 to 2021, as well as a consultant for AWS since 2016. He left AWS in 2021 to join Databricks as an architect for the company’s Query Processing & ETL.

Papakonstantinou has held top roles such as chief scientist and CEO for various IT companies over the past few decades. He has published over 100 research articles that have received over 18,000 citations and was a professor at the University of California San Diego, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dae Geun Lee

Google Position: Technical Program Manager, Privacy, Security and Compliance

Former Position: AWS Korea Chief Privacy Officer

Dae Geun Lee spent nearly six years at AWS with his last role as AWS’ Korea chief privacy officer, in charge of regulations and development strategies against cloud compliance requirements in APAC [Asia-Pacific] countries.

“I was able to work hard, have fun and make history in my journey with AWS,” said Lee on LinkedIn. “Nearly 6 years in AWS was the toughest and happiest moment of my life. I really appreciate you all and will never forget any of you.”

Lee is now working for Google as a technical program manager for privacy, security and compliance.

Yunong Xiao

Google Position: Senior Director of Engineering, Google Cloud Serverless

Former Position: Stripe; Head of Engineering for Distributed Systems

Google Cloud has nabbed industry veteran Yunong Xiao to help lead the company’s cloud serverless business. “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Senior Director of Engineering, Google Cloud Serverless at Google,” Xiao said on LinkedIn.

Xiao worked as a senior software engineer at AWS from 2009 to 2011, helping to launch AWS Identity and Access Management, as well as AWS Multi-Factor Authentication.

Xiao previously worked at software development company Stripe as head of engineering for distributed systems.

Prior to that role, he worked at cloud computing company Tencent Cloud as general manager of its Serverless, PaaS and DevOps division. He also worked at Netflix for five years as an engineering leader architecting applications and services.