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Microsoft nabs AWS exec in cloud rivals leadership shakeup

Eric Pulsifer
Eric Pulsifer

Microsoft has reportedly nabbed longtime Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud leader Charlie Bell as a corporate vice president in a move CNBC calls “victory” for Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal notes it marks a “rare jump of a senior executive between the cloud-computing industry’s leading rivals.”

A longtime AWS leader with more than 20 years at the company, Bell was a senior vice president at AWS, where he helped grow the company’s S3 and EC2 offerings. Bell also previously has a stint at Oracle. (There’s gotta be a multi-cloud joke here somewhere.)

Insider reports Amazon sources point to Bell’s bailing as an example of “a brain drain at the highest levels of the company.”

News of Bell’s abrupt departure broke earlier this month in a leadership shakeup following Andy Jassy’s move from AWS CEO to Amazon CEO. (Bell was considered to be a frontrunner for the AWS CEO role that went to Adam Selipsky.)


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Bell’s LinkedIn profile has yet to receive an update, but now we know he’s probably been a little busy over the past couple of weeks.

It’s not totally unheard of for Amazon to file lawsuits against employees who leave to work for competing companies. CNBC points out. Amazon, Microsoft, and Bell have not made any official comment on the move.

Microsoft Azure, the number two and rising public cloud provider, has long had its sights set on Amazon’s spot as the market leader.

Here’s what some of the cloudiest minds on Twitter had to say about the news:

Does this news mean you should rush and learn Microsoft Azure? Well, it probably shouldn’t be the sole factor. But since you bring it up, we do have some rather awesome resources to help you or your organization level up those Azure skills — or AWS skills.

Check out our current crop of free cloud courses or start a free trial today!


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