Selipsky was no stranger to AWS. He first joined Amazon’s cloud computing division. in 2005, even before their services were publicly available. But in 2016, after 11 years with the company, he left. In the five years he was away running the data visualization company Tableau, the business and industry changed considerably, leading to Selipsky a new set of challenges.
But in one of his first interviews since taking over as CEO of AWS, Selipsky seemed confident in his company’s prospects. The new head of AWS said he believes his company still has an advantage over Microsoft in getting the government job done.
He added: “I think you will find, especially given our leadership position, that our competitors spend much more time talking and caring about AWS than we do about them; we choose to focus on our customers.”
(While these contracts are good for business, some employees have struggled with company work for certain government agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a dynamic that may increase Selipsky’s challenges in the role.) .
“In any fast-growing and interesting market segment, there will be competition,” he said. “We always thought that there would not be many winners, but a handful of winners who emerge and have vigorous competition, and that’s what we see. But we are still the significant leader.”
We “ highly encourage ” employees to speak up
“I really like the fact that people are putting their minds to work and expressing themselves. We really encourage it,” he said. “I found that if you have a really good process and you really listen and show people that you take the time to listen, even when they disagree with you at the end of the day, we can all close our arms and move forward together.”
He continued: “I really welcome the fact that many topics are being discussed today that were perhaps less discussed in the workplace five, ten or twenty years ago.”
“Amazon intends to be 100% renewable energy by 2025 … and we are already two-thirds of the way down, so we are making significant progress,” he said. “Just given our size and our scale and things like the data centers that we operate, we really have to power them with renewable energy to achieve that.  objective. We are innovating a lot, we are collaborating a lot with many companies, many governments and many non-profit organizations to achieve those goals. ”
Selipsky will have his first opportunity to address customers at the annual AWS cloud conference, Re: Invent, in Las Vegas later this month. He said customers should expect announcements on some of “our oldest and most basic services, such as computing, databases and storage,” as well as “interesting announcements about higher-level services and industry-specific solutions.”
“It is absolutely imperative that we continue to understand [customers’] evolving needs, which are changing very rapidly, and we are going to evolve along with them, “he said.