Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the Insider Tech weekly newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:
- Amazon switching up its leadership
- Instacart poaching a top Facebook exec
- Google employees feeling disgruntled at double standards
Alexei is out on vacation this week, so it’s Jillian D’Onfro, enterprise tech editor, here to fill you in.
As Bezos prepares to blast into space, Andy Jassy has officially assumed the CEO title while former Tableau exec Adam Selipsky is taking his place at the helm of $54 billion cloud business Amazon Web Services.
- Jassy thanked the “missionary,” “insurgent” AWS team before sending his first email to the whole company vowing to make Amazon “better every day.” Read the full note here.
- He’s also already made a slew of promotions, including additions to Amazon’s “S-team” of top execs.
- Meanwhile, the most important message to his successor Selipsky is simple: Just don’t screw anything up.
- The AWS cash cow isn’t expected to slow down any time soon, but Selipsky still has a handful of risks and opportunities ahead of him, including challenging Microsoft’s productivity dominance.
- He got a gift from the federal government in his first week on the job, too: The Department of Defense cancelled the massive, $10 billion cloud contract that it awarded to Microsoft in favor of a new, smaller bid that will be spread among multiple cloud providers – including AWS.
- Meanwhile, Amazon is struggling to persuade Aetna and other health plans to cover its medical care service
People moves: Facebooker defecting and a Googler off to New Zealand
In a more contentious overseas move, senior Google executive Urs Hozle announced plans to jet off to New Zealand for a year, sparking outrage from workers pointing out that he’d opposed the perma-remote lifestyle for lower-level employees.
While it’s one of the first high-profile instances of post-pandemic double standards around remote work, it’s just the latest sign of internal turmoil at Google. Also this week:
- Google AI chief Jeff Dean got called out for hypocrisy for urging marginalized groups to work with its researchers
- A senior privacy engineer publicly quit the company over ‘constant gaslighting’ following the firing of two AI experts
- Externally, Google’s in for some trouble, too: 36 states signed a lawsuit attack its control of Android app store
“Talk about Nothing that is said in forum to Nobody under any circumstances. Never means forever.”
– The internal code of conduct for a secretive and ultra-exclusive club for young CEOs. Strict rules help executives feel safe talking freely about the challenges of running their companies, prompting them to pony up thousands of dollars for membership.
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