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Adam Selipsky, outgoing Amazon Web Services CEO, recently spoke with GeekWire at AWS headquarters in Seattle in an interview before his departure. He expressed mixed emotions about leaving, highlighting the amazing work being done at AWS and the strong friendships he has formed within the team. Despite feeling energized by the possibilities ahead, Selipsky recognized the need for a new leadership experience outside of Amazon and the importance of preparing the next generation of leaders at AWS.

Selipsky reflected on his tenure as AWS CEO, acknowledging the challenges faced during the pandemic, especially in maintaining the company’s unique culture with a rapidly growing team. He expressed pride in the significant revenue growth at AWS and his efforts to ensure a smooth succession plan. Selipsky emphasized the ongoing opportunities and challenges in the cloud and AI space, noting that it is still early days for these technologies.

In response to criticism about Amazon being caught flat-footed by the rise of generative AI, Selipsky highlighted the company’s longstanding investments in AI and its success in serving a diverse range of customers. He emphasized the importance of innovation and execution in maintaining AWS’s leadership position in the market. Selipsky dismissed the idea of a reset in the cloud competition, citing AWS’s continued focus on security, operational excellence, long-term relationships with customers, and innovation.

Regarding the Amazon Q generative AI assistant, Selipsky stated that it is still early days but has already shown promising results for customers like BT and National Australia Bank. He expressed confidence in the future adoption of Amazon Q and the potential impact it can have. Selipsky also discussed his seamless transition into the role of AWS CEO, succeeding Andy Jassy, highlighting their long history of working together.

As Selipsky prepares to take some time off and consider his next adventure, he shared a message for AWS customers, partners, and employees. He highlighted the importance of security, operational excellence, long-term perspective, and innovation at AWS. Selipsky also emphasized his commitment to creating a positive work environment for employees and fostering inspiration and creativity within the organization. Overall, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead AWS and confidence in the future direction of the company under new leadership.

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