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A game of musical chairs is taking place at AWS. Adam Selipsky, who took office in early 2021, is stepping down June 3. His replacement is Matt Garman, who has been with Amazon for 17 years.

Selipsky’s departure cannot be separated from AWS’s weakened competitive position. Although it is the world’s largest cloud provider, it feels the hot breath of Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud approaching. While those parties are fully innovating with AI and have established clear portfolios, the AWS offering looks confused and without focus. We already drew that conclusion during AWS Re:invent late last year, as seen below.

Read more: AWS forgets to re:Invent, lashes out at competition

Long track record

Selipsky spent 14 years at AWS in total, divided into two terms. In between, he was CEO of Tableau Software, part of Salesforce, between 2016 and 2021. His replacement, Matt Garman, has an even longer career at Amazon. In August 2006, he started as Principal Product Manager and later became Senior Manager of Software Development for EC2, which debuted the same month Garman joined the company. Currently, he is SVP Sales, Marketing & Global Services at AWS.

The messaging from Amazon sounds amicable, as you’d expect: Amazon CEO Andy Jassy talks about the many accomplishments Selipsky could boast of as AWS lead for Sales, Marketing and Support between 2005 and 2016. According to Jassy, the deal was always that Selipsky would fill an interim role for several years. This framing ignores the fact that there has been trouble brewing at AWS in recent years, especially now that with the rise of AI, it has the least clear AI story to offer.

Jassy does remind us of other successes with Selipsky at the helm, such as more efficient spending and ever-reliable services. Amazon Bedrock and Amazon Q also get mentioned. The former service offers an AI platform on AWS and Q is an AI assistant for the cloud service.