Microsoft Corp. is hiring former Amazon.com Inc. cloud executive Charlie Bell, according to a person familiar with the matter.
It’s not yet clear when Bell will join or what his exact role at Microsoft will be, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss an appointment that isn’t yet public. Bell’s hiring comes as Microsoft’s Azure cloud division has been closing the gap with market leader Amazon Web Services.
At Amazon, Bell was a senior vice president, who long reported to former AWS Chief Andy Jassy and oversaw the engineering teams working on AWS’s main software services. Bell worked on software for NASA's space shuttle program early in his career, joining Amazon in 1998 when the company acquired his e-commerce software startup. AWS has twice as much market share as Microsoft’s Azure, and both companies are looking to fend off inroads from Google.
A Microsoft spokesperson declined to confirm the hiring. Bell and Amazon didn’t immediately return requests for comment.
Bell is the latest in a string of departures amid a senior management shift that saw Jeff Bezos cede the CEO role to Jassy and Adam Selipsky take over as AWS chief. Selipsky announced Bell’s departure earlier this month. Any non-compete agreement Bell signed with Amazon may prevent him from working on similar things at Microsoft; Amazon has long sought to enforce those agreements vigorously.
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