Charlie Bell

Microsoft hires Charlie Bell, Amazon’s ex cloud executive

Bell left Amazon recently after 15 years in a top leadership position at Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft has hired ex Amazon cloud executive Charlie Bell as a corporate vice president.

Bell, who left Amazon Web Services a fortnight ago, is now listed by Microsoft as a corporate vice president, according to an internal employee register viewed by The Wall Street Journal

Bell was a senior vice president at Amazon Web Services, as the company’s cloud-computing arm is known, and for years worked with Mr. Jassy, then the AWS boss, to build up the cloud-computing business

Bell was considered a candidate to become head of AWS once Amazon chose Andy Jassy, the AWS CEO, to lead all of Amazon. Bell belonged to Amazon’s S-team of top leaders, and his responsibilities as a senior vice president included pricing, software development service operations and financial results.

It’s unlikely that Bell will stay within the human resources team at Microsoft, given his 23-year career at AWS was largely spent developing services such as EC2 and S3 computing and storage.

The secrecy around his role is thought to be due to a ‘non-compete clause’ he may have signed with AWS.

AWS is well known for using the practice of non-compete agreements, which prevents one party from participating in activities that would directly compete with the other party, and has taken legal action against a number of former employees for breaking these agreements.

Whatever role Bell eventually takes, he brings extensive leadership experience to Microsoft, having held management roles at Oracle and an engineering position at Boeing in the early 1980s.

He also ran his own business, Server Technologies Group, which was acquired by Amazon in 1998, kicking off his career with AWS.

Bell didn’t respond to a request for comment, while a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on the move.

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