Amazon confirms abrupt departure of AWS data center chief Chris Vonderhaar – GeekWire

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Todd Bishop
2023-05-30 19:49:32

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The Amazon Web Services executive who oversaw the cloud giant’s massive network of data centers is suddenly gone, without explanation.

Amazon confirmed the departure of Chris Vonderhaar, who had been at the company for nearly 13 years, in response to a GeekWire inquiry on Tuesday.

Based in Seattle, Vonderhaar was responsible for “the design, planning, construction and operations of the AWS global data center fleet,” according to his LinkedIn profile. We’ve sent him a message seeking comment.

Word of his departure emerged after Amazon employees noticed that he was missing from the internal corporate directory. As of earlier today, there had been no announcement. The company did not immediately address follow-up questions about the circumstances of Vonderhaar’s exit, or plans to replace him in the role.

News publication Insider once included Vonderhaar as a “dark horse” candidate on a list of potential successors to Andy Jassy after the longtime AWS CEO was elevated to Amazon CEO, before the company brought back former Tableau Software CEO Adam Selipsky to run the cloud business.

Vonderhaar reported to Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of AWS infrastructure services, according to an August 2021 CRN article about former AWS executive Charlie Bell leaving the company to join Microsoft.

Word of Vonderhaar’s departure was first posted on TikTok earlier today by Amy Nelson, the former Seattle entrepreneur whose husband, former AWS real estate manager Carleton Nelson, has been sued by Amazon in a long-running (but recently narrowed) dispute over a series of data center real estate deals.

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