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Amazon’s outgoing cloud executive: Generation AI could be ‘AWS’s biggest opportunity yet’

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Adam Selipsky, who is currently working his last day as Amazon Web Services CEO, sat down for an interview with GeekWire to reflect on his tenure, the state of competition in the cloud, and what lies ahead for both himself and the company. Selipsky dispelled the notion that AWS was caught off-guard by the rapid rise of generative artificial intelligence, emphasizing the company’s long-standing involvement in AI and machine learning. Despite competition and challenges, Selipsky believes that AWS is uniquely positioned to excel in the era of generative AI, building on its distinct focus on security, operational excellence, and customer relationships.

During his time as AWS CEO, Selipsky has overseen significant growth, with the company now boasting a $100 billion revenue run rate. Selipsky, who rejoined AWS in 2021 amid the pandemic, leaves behind a business that generates more than 60% of Amazon’s total profits. As he steps down from his role, Selipsky expressed confidence in his successor, Matt Garman, citing the importance of preparing the next generation of leadership. Reflecting on his time at AWS, Selipsky highlighted the company’s efforts to help customers optimize costs, shift workloads to the cloud, and support Ukraine’s technology infrastructure.

While Selipsky is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, he acknowledged that there may be another leadership experience outside of Amazon that awaits him. Despite leaving AWS with mixed emotions, Selipsky is eager to decompress and explore new opportunities. With Amazon still leading the cloud market with a 31% market share, Selipsky believes that Garman is well-prepared to lead AWS in its next phase. He emphasized the importance of grooming the next set of leaders, a task he believes he has successfully accomplished during his time at AWS.

As Selipsky moves on from AWS, he leaves behind a legacy of growth, innovation, and customer-centric focus. His departure marks the end of an era for the company, but also signals a new chapter in its evolution. With generative AI poised to be a major growth opportunity for AWS, Selipsky’s leadership has set the stage for continued success in this emerging field. As he looks towards the future, Selipsky remains optimistic about the possibilities that lie ahead, both for himself and for the technology industry as a whole.

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