Meet the 10 Amazon Web Services VPs in charge of the cloud titan's biggest bets on its next billion-dollar businesses – Business Insider

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Amazon Web Services is already the biggest and market-leading cloud provider, but which businesses does the company consider its next big opportunities? 
We may have a clue: One AWS insider recently told Insider that dedicating a new vice president to a business indicates that it’s something Amazon sees as a potential billion-dollar business, or that otherwise represents a significant strategic area for the company.
Insider spoke to cloud analysts to identify what could be Amazon’s next billion-dollar businesses, and used a leaked copy of the company’s organizational chart to identify the executives in charge of them.
Those opportunities include areas such as edge computing, supporting hybrid cloud and multicloud IT environments, growing its partnerships with companies like NetApp, low-code products, artificial intelligence and machine learning, databases and analytics, vertical markets, Internet of Things, processors, and APIs.
Edge will be “the market to win” over the next year, cloud analyst Maribel Lopez told Insider, and AWS just dedicated a new vice president to edge services in its networking organization.
Jesse Dougherty is now VP for Edge Services in AWS Infrastructure Services, which includes infrastructure, networking, and edge services. He will lead products like CloudFront, Elemental, and Perimeter Protection, according to a person familiar with the changes.
Dougherty previously ran application integration and has worked for AWS since 2013.
Dougherty will report directly to Prasad Kalyanaraman, the head of the networking organization. His direct reports include Perimeter Protection’s Andrew Thomas, Elemental’s Brian Stein and Greg Truax, and CloudFront’s Pravjit Tiwana, the person said.
In the cloud industry, “edge” refers to the concept of keeping more computing power close to the final user — considered the edge of the network. Some in the industry believe that edge computing could be the next great frontier for the cloud market, powering more intelligent devices like self-driving cars or industrial robotics, where decisions can be made faster and on-the-fly without the need to communicate with platforms like AWS itself. 
“Everyone is investing in intelligent edge devices that generate data that needs to be analyzed closer to where it is created to deliver value,” Lopez told Insider. “With billions of connected things, all the traffic can’t go to the cloud.”
Customers are increasingly expressing preferences for hybrid cloud and multicloud, according to Gartner, and “will motivate AWS to expand its support of hybrid and multicloud environments while continuing its innovation in public cloud services.” 
AWS created a new organization called EC2 Edge in September, according to an internal memo viewed by Insider. It combines hybrid cloud and edge computing products Outposts, AWS Local Zones, Wavelength, and Telco. 
Leading the org is Jan Hofmeyr, who Amazon hired from Comcast, where he was the chief network officer and one of the architects behind the company’s X1 video and entertainment platform. 
The new organization will be “focused on providing EC2 Compute and Networking outside of our current regional footprint,” EC2 chief Dave Brown wrote in the email. “We’re making strong progress in this area with the products that we have and I’m confident that the alignment here will allow us to move even faster. While it is still early days, I’m confident that EC2 Edge will be a very meaningful business for AWS in the coming years.”
The unit also includes products like Outposts, which represents Amazon’s first-ever product designed for the traditional data center, helping customers connect their legacy IT architecture up to the AWS cloud in a model known as hybrid cloud computing. Hybrid cloud is seen as tying in closely to the concept of edge computing, bringing more cloud capabilities to the servers that customers already use.
Gartner also expects AWS to expand such products.
Partnerships, like Amazon’s recent deal for a new storage service with NetApp, will help AWS defend its stronghold in the cloud market, Gartner analyst Raj Bala told Insider.
“There are lots of enterprises that are still just now coming to cloud, so having a NetApp-branded offering is pretty strong,” Bala said. “It’s bread-and-butter stuff like that really ends up moving the needle for the market.”
In charge of forging partnerships like these is a relatively new executive: In July 2020, AWS hired Kathrin Buvac, previously Nokia’s chief strategy officer and enterprise president, to run its business development team. 
Buvac’s responsibilities include finding new business opportunities and strategic partnerships across regulated industries like energy, manufacturing, and healthcare.  
Her hiring also reflects AWS’s effort to prioritize its business development organization. Buvac’s team includes corporate business development director Martyn Mallick and Justin Burks, who runs worldwide sports partnerships and strategic programs.
AWS Honeycode makes it easier for users to build apps from a spreadsheet without having to write code.
Adam Seligman, formerly Mozilla’s chief operations officer and Google’s vice president of developer relations, became the VP of AWS Honeycode in August. 
Gartner considers Honeycode to be Amazon’s only competitive product in the no-code/low-code space. In the analyst firm’s view, that makes Amazon’s cloud less accessible than that of competitors who offer more cloud tools for non-developers.
Indeed, these tools are becoming key for cloud companies and AWS competitors like Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce to offer customers.
“Given the cultural and practical history of AWS engineering, a transition to the more democratized platform offerings may be difficult for AWS’ new leadership,” Gartner analysts wrote in a recent report.
Swami Sivasubramanian runs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning initiatives at AWS, including Amazon’s SageMaker tools for training machine learning systems quickly.
Sivasubramanian has been vice president of Amazon AI since 2017 and previously ran big data services at AWS.
Gartner recently rated AWS as a leader in its most recent Magic Quadrant for Cloud AI Developer Services, and in a recent report said AWS “offers a comprehensive set of AI and machine learning (ML) services and APIs.”
Sanjeev Mohan, a senior director analyst at Gartner, previously told Insider that SageMaker is “one of the key platforms for AWS.”
Databases are a key area where the cloud giants are aiming to make headway, but established and newer database companies like Oracle, Snowflake, and MongoDB present stiff competition to each cloud giant’s own database products.
AWS has database services of its own such as Redshift, the cloud data warehouse that competes directly with Oracle.
According to Gartner, other AWS analytics services such as QuickSight are “AWS-centric,” but still offer a “compelling price/value proposition versus most other competitors in the market.”
Raju Gulabani is the vice president of AWS databases and analytics, and oversees Redshift as well as other databases such as Aurora and DynamoDB. He joined AWS in 2016, and was formerly in charge of its machine learning organization.
Gulabani reports to Pete DeSantis, AWS senior vice president of utility computing, and previously spent four years at Google.
The cloud market for specific sectors such as financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing, is heating up, analysts told Insider. And all the cloud giants, including AWS, are aiming to reach those industries.
For AWS, RobustCloud principal consultant Larry Carvalho said the company’s approach to industries such as the automotive sector started with just messaging and marketing. But now, “you’re getting right down into the products, and they’re hiring salespeople who have deep industry skills,” he said.
Key to those ambitions is Greg Pearson, the AWS vice president of worldwide commercial sales. Pearson reports to Matt Garman, AWS senior vice president of sales and marketing, and was first hired in 2019 as vice president of Americas Sales. He moved to leading the worldwide commercial sales group last summer.
Gartner analyst Raj Bala told Insider that he believes AWS should take its industry approach a step further and build a dedicated healthcare cloud in the same vein as its dedicated government cloud.
“GovCloud was in a way the first industry-focused cloud from the hyperscalers,” Bala said, adding that AWS could use the same product-driven strategy to attract customers in other industries.
As high-speed 5G wireless internet becomes more ubiqituous, cloud giants like AWS have already started moving in on the opportunity. By partnering with telcos, the cloud giants can bring technologies like Internet of Things, or IoT, devices closer to the mainstream than ever before.
To analysts, IoT is a huge opportunity for AWS in commercial and industrial use cases. “AWS continues to add depth and breadth to its offering, encompassing device software, control services and analytics services,” Gartner wrote in a recent report. “This enables better alignment with the requirements of the industrial market.”
AWS vice president of engineering Bill Vass currently oversees 42 teams, including the group that works on IoT. He started at AWS in 2014, and reports to Pete DeSantis, AWS senior vice president of utility computing.
Before joining the tech industry, Vass worked in the Office of the CIO at the Department of Defense, and was the Chief Technology Officer for the US Army Personnel Information Systems Command.
According to Gartner, AWS’s IoT strategy will continue to take advantage of the company’s extensive cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence capabilities. That will ultimately provide “a basis for end-to-end IoT-enabled solutions,” the analyst firm wrote.
To Gartner analyst Raj Bala, the “single biggest investment in terms of dollars and time that AWS is making right now is around their own processors.”
Indeed, AWS announced in 2018 that it was building its own Graviton chips, a move that Bala called AWS wanting to “own larger and larger portions of the value chain.”
The move is an incredibly strategic one, Bala added, because AWS is likely to make more of its services compatible with Graviton in the future. And that would mean AWS has even more control over the supply chain, reducing its reliance on vendors like Intel while giving it the kind of hardware power and efficiency that could put competitors like Microsoft and Oracle on the defensive.
AWS vice president of compute services Deepak Singh oversees key products such as elastic container service (ECS) and elastic kubernetes service (EKS). He joined AWS in 2008, and previously held roles leading product and business development for EC2. Singh reports to Pete DeSantis, AWS senior vice president of utility computing.
Gartner also wrote in a recent report that AWS’s hardware innovations help it “build a cost-performance advantage into the core of its platform that can be leveraged directly by its customers.”
Gartner analyst Raj Bala told Insider that despite some of AWS’s API updates seeming less exciting than other product announcements, small improvements to its developer tools ultimately make AWS easier for customers to use. 
“The big challenge with AWS is because they’ve got 200 services and tons of different teams that are building this, each service kind of lives in isolation of the others. There’s oftentimes a disparate ways of interacting with them,” Bala said.
But the cloud control API, for example, makes it faster to use AWS by creating a standard way to provision resources, he said.
Kurt Kufeld is the vice president of AWS platform. He joined AWS in 2000, and has held a number of roles including overseeing the Amazon Retail consumer ordering system, and leading the Silk browser on Amazon Kindle Fire tablets.
Kufeld reports to Pete DeSantis, AWS senior vice president of utility computing. He also leads areas such as developer tools, the commerce platform, and directory services.
According to Gartner, AWS already has a “rich portfolio of higher-level developer platform services,” including services for data integration like Amazon AppFlow, but “uncharacteristically lacks a direct investment in a unified integration service.” That means AWS doesn’t yet have a competitive offering for delivering a single, connected platform experience, the analyst firm wrote in a recent report.
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