So long…

Boss of AWS steps down, as does OpenAI’s chief scientist.

03 June 2024

Adam Selipsky, AWS

A mail from Amazon boss Andy Jassy landed in the inboxes of staff members on May 14, saying that AWS CEO Adam Selipsky would be stepping down. He’s replaced by Matt Garman, who joined in 2005 and was the first product manager of EC2. Jassy, who used to lead AWS, said when he hired Selipsky, they agreed it was only going to be for a few years, and that one of his tasks would be to find a new leader. He said Selipsky had “deftly” led the business, and he’d taken over during the challenging time of the pandemic. He leaves the company in a strong position, and it’s now doing a $100 billion yearly run-rate in the last quarter. It was also on Selipsky’s watch that GenAI exploded, and like many vendors, this has taken centre stage. Selipsky had a very different style to Jassy, who was more focused on product announcements, punctuated by riffs from a live rock band, at the company’s annual re:Invent conference. Selipsky also made his announcements, but had a more discursive, story-telling kind of approach. Garman, on the other hand, seems to be a hard-core technologist, which should please the techies.

OpenAI’s co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever announced that he was leaving the company on May 14. He said he was excited to be tackling a new project, one that was “personally very meaningful to me”, and that he’d share the details in due course. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wrote on X that OpenAI would not be the company it is without Sutskever’s work. Jakub Pachocki, OpenAI’s director of research, will replace him.

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