Cloud News

Longtime AWS Vet Charlie Bell Departing Amid Leadership Changes

Donna Goodison

New Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selispky announces new roles for Peter DeSantis and Prasad Kalyanaraman


Longtime Amazon Web Services veteran Charlie Bell is leaving the cloud computing provider, and further AWS leadership team changes are afoot under new CEO Adam Selipsky.

Bell, a senior vice president whose team is responsible for AWS engineering, operations and product, has opted to leave AWS after 23 years of “phenomenal service” to Amazon, according to an email sent by Selipsky to AWS employees that was obtained by CRN. Selipsky, the former CEO of Seattle’s Tableau Software, officially replaced Andy Jassy as CEO of AWS on July 5.

Peter DeSantis, who had been AWS’ senior vice president of global infrastructure and customer support, will be AWS’ next leader of utility computing (UC), reporting to Selipsky. Other current UC leaders, now reporting to DeSantis, will remain unchanged.

Prasad Kalyanaraman, a 16-year AWS veteran who had been vice president of AWS network services since November 2019, will serve as AWS’ new leader for infrastructure and network services, and also will report to Selipsky.

To better align its infrastructure business, AWS also made some changes, as outlined below, to whom certain executives and their teams report.


Selipsky praised Bell’s contributions to AWS in the email to employees.

“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 (pictured above) 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.

Bell also is a member of Amazon’s S-Team, a group of about 26 senior Amazon executives that meets regularly with its CEO to confer on strategic decisions facing the company.


In his role as senior vice president of AWS global infrastructure and customer support, DeSantis led the AWS teams responsible for designing the datacenters, servers and network that underpin AWS services, and deploying and operating the infrastructure worldwide, as well as the customer-facing organizations providing support for our AWS products.

DeSantis also joined Amazon in 1998, working in various groups within the company and leading the distributed systems engineering group. He moved to AWS in March 2006 as general manager of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and played a central role in the early development of AWS’ cloud infrastructure, leading the EC2 team through AWS’ launch that year. DeSantis subsequently lead a number of AWS products focused on compute and networking until October 2016, when he became vice president AWS global infrastructure. His role was expanded in January of 2018 to include AWS customer support, and his title changed to senior vice president in February 2020.

DeSantis was named to Amazon’s S-Team in May 2019.

AWS employees reporting to DeSantis as part of his services organization, according to Selipsky’s email, will be Bilik (Billy) Hrvoye, cofounder of Annapurna Labs, an Israeli chip maker acquired by AWS in 2015; Alex Dunlap, general manager of AWS Elemental; Peter Hill, vice president of productivity applications; Steve Johnson, general manager of AWS enterprise applications since April; Meera Vaidyanathan, product management director for Amazon Honeycode, and Liang Chen, head of engineering for Amazon Honeycode.

Curt Ohrt, a technology vice president responsible for AWS data center software, according to his LinkedIn page, will continue reporting to DeSantis as he explores his next role, according to Selipsky’s email.


Kalyanaraman joined AWS as a software development manager in 2005. He had been vice president of edge service for seven years before taking the role of vice president of AWS network services in November 2019.

Reporting to Kalyanaraman in his new role will be Chris Vonderhaar, vice president of infrastructure operations; Ahmed Shihab, vice president of AWS infrastructure hardware; Jens Gruenkemeier, vice president of procurement; Jonathan Norwood, director of supply chain automation, and Dave Wood, software engineering director. Elizabeth Katcoff, senior manager of data center systems, and her organization will move to the team of Josh Koppelman, software director for AWS infrastructure, who also will report to Kalyanaraman.

And Rob Kennedy, vice president of global network connectivity since March; Anton Radlein, director of AWS Global Accelerator and internet monitoring; Matt Rehder, director of data center network engineering; and Alec Peterson, director of software development, will continue to report to Kalyanaraman.

Other Reporting Changes

Eric Wilcox, director of data center design engineering, and his organization now will report to Vonderhaar.

Joining the organization of Matt Garman, senior vice president of sales and marketing, will be Justin Brindley-Koonce, vice president of AWS support; John Brigden, vice president of AWS Managed Services; and Ryan Mackle, an AWS director driving strategic planning initiatives related to geographic expansion and overseas strategy and operations, according to his LinkedIn page.

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