AWS CEO Selipsky Bows Out as Cloud Giant Names Successor

The surprise announcement from cloud frontrunner comes as the company wrestles with demand for GenAI investment amid an overall economic slowdown.

Shane Snider , Senior Writer, InformationWeek

May 14, 2024

3 Min Read
In this photo illustration, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.
SOPA Images Limited via Alamy Stock

Adam Selipsky, the very public face of cloud juggernaut Amazon Web Services (AWS), on Tuesday announced he would step down as CEO to “focus on family” as the company tagged Matt Garman, current senior vice president of sales and marketing to take over the role.

Garman, who analysts speculated as an original AWS CEO frontrunner in 2021 after Andy Jassy took over parent company Amazon after founder Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO, takes over as the company faces declining revenues despite being the leader in the massively successful cloud services industry, which includes heavyweights Google Cloud, and Microsoft’s Azure.

AWS has been locked in a heated battle with top cloud service providers to usher in generative AI capabilities spurred by the success of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s wildly successful chatbot, ChatGPT. While revenue growth rates have seen ups and downs with economic swings (revenue has seen consistent growth in the most recent quarters), AWS remains one of Amazon’s most successful business units, generating $9.42 billion in operating income in its most recent quarter -- accounting for about 62% of Amazon’s total operating income.

According to a securities filing, Selipsky’s 2022 compensation topped $41.1 million (including stock awards).

Related:UK Watchdog Tags Microsoft, Amazon for Cloud Antitrust Probe

In a memo posted to the Amazon website, Selipsky said the “future is bright” for AWS and wished the company luck.

“Leading this amazing team and the AWS business is a big job, and I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished… Given the sate of the business and the leadership team, now is an appropriate moment for me to make this transition, and to take the opportunity to spend more time with family for a while, recharge a bit, and create some mental free space to reflect and consider the possibilities,” Selipsky wrote.

In another note, Garman thanked Selipsky for this leadership and hinted at further changes to the organization in the coming weeks. “It has been a privilege to work alongside all of you for the past 18 years, and I am humbled for the opportunity to continue to do so in this new broader role… There will naturally be some adjustments that we will make as part of this transition…” he wrote.

Selipsky was one of the first VPs hired at AWS in 2005, before leaving the company to become CEO of Salesforce-owned Tableau and eventually returning to take the helm of AWS in 2021.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for Adam, and we met several times to discuss the possibility of coming back to lead AWS,” Jassy wrote in a note. “In those conversations, we agreed that if he accepted the role, he’d likely do it for a few years, and that wone of the things he’d focus on during that time was helping prepare the next generation of leadership.”

Related:Selipsky at AWS re:Invent on Securing Data in the GenAI World

Garman will officially take over the position on June 3.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that AWS revenues had been declining. The rate of revenue growth had been declining in recent years, but showed acceleration in the past two quarters. Revenues, however, have been increasing year-over-year.

About the Author(s)

Shane Snider

Senior Writer, InformationWeek, InformationWeek

Shane Snider is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of industry experience. He started his career as a general assignment reporter and has covered government, business, education, technology and much more. He was a reporter for the Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh News and Observer and most recently a tech reporter for CRN. He was also a top wedding photographer for many years, traveling across the country and around the world. He lives in Raleigh with his wife and two children.

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