Cloud wars: Former Amazon Web Services leader Charlie Bell reportedly joins rival Microsoft

Charlie Bell (LinkedIn Photo)

Long-time Amazon Web Services boss Charlie Bell has reportedly taken a job at Microsoft.

Bell, a member of Amazon’s senior leadership team and long-time lynchpin of the company’s cloud business, left the Seattle company this month after more than 23 years.

Business Insider reported Wednesday that Bell was joining Microsoft. The notice and CNBC later confirmed that Redmond, Washington-based tech giant has hired Bell as corporate vice president.

We asked Microsoft and Bell for a comment. To update: Microsoft declined to comment.

The hiring is a coup for Microsoft’s Azure arm in its cloud computing battle with AWS, the industry leader.

Bell joined Amazon in 1998 when it acquired his company, Server Technologies Group, an e-commerce transactional software company he founded in 1996 after leaving Oracle, according to his LinkedIn bio. It describes his role at Amazon as head of “general management of AWS services, including product definition, pricing, P&L, software development, and service operations.”

Bell’s departure from Amazon is the latest change to the AWS leadership team as longtime head of the cloud division, Andy Jassy, ​​takes over as CEO of Amazon. AWS is now led by CEO Adam Selipsky, who has returned to Amazon to replace Jassy after serving as CEO of Tableau Software in Seattle. Bell was a candidate to replace Jassy as head of AWS.

Several Amazon executives have left the company this year, including Steve Kessel, who led Amazon’s physical store business; Wei Gao, a 16-year-old Amazon who led the company’s food efforts; and among others the former CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke. AWS executives like Larry Augustin and Teresa Carlson have also left.

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