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Amazon Cloud Executive Charlie Bell Is Leaving After 23 Years as Shakeup Continues at AWS

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  • Charlie Bell joined Amazon in 1998 and has worked on the Amazon Web Services cloud business since its earliest days.
  • Bell's departure comes a month after Andy Jassy, for years the person in charge of AWS, took over as CEO of all of Amazon.

Amazon confirmed on Monday that Charlie Bell, one of the top executives in its cloud business, is leaving the company.

Peter DeSantis, a senior vice president at Amazon Web Services who has worked on global infrastructure, will become the new leader for utility computing, which Bell was managing, according to a person familiar with the matter. Prasad Kalyanaraman, a vice president at AWS, will take over responsibility for infrastructure and network services, said the person, who asked not to be named because the changes haven't been publicly announced.

DeSantis, who joined Amazon's elite S-team of top executives in 2019, and Kalyanaraman will both report to Adam Selipsky, the head of AWS. Selipsky rejoined Amazon from Salesforce earlier this year. An Amazon spokesperson would not say where Bell is going.

Bell's departure is the latest in a series of high-level personnel moves at AWS, which leads the cloud infrastructure market and accounts for half of Amazon's total operating profit. Andy Jassy, who helped start AWS and ran it until last month, succeeded Jeff Bezos as Amazon's CEO, leaving Selipsky in charge of the cloud unit. Bell sat on the S-team and was considered a candidate to replace Jassy.

Other AWS executives have left since the start of the pandemic. In April, monitoring and security software company Splunk said it hired Teresa Carlson as president and chief growth officer. At AWS she had been vice president of public sector and industries. Tim Bray, who worked on several AWS products, resigned last year in objection to Amazon employment practices.

While some of his colleagues have received attention by giving keynote presentations at AWS Reinvent conferences over the years, Bell has not. Bell joined Amazon in 1998 as a director after Amazon acquired his small company, Server Technologies Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier in his career, Bell worked in professional services at Oracle, one of Amazon's cloud competitors.

At Amazon, Bell initially worked on building customer-service applications. During a virtual appearance at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference last year, he said he led infrastructure before moving to the AWS business in 2006 as it was getting started with the core EC2 and S3 computing and storage services.

Pricing, software development service operations and financial results fell under Bell's purview, according to his LinkedIn profile. In 2016 Bell was among the handful of Amazon executives who met with then-U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, according to an AWS blog post.

The Information reported on Bell's departure earlier.

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