Microsoft and Amazon reach truce allowing former AWS executive Charlie Bell to start in a new role - Start Up Gazzete
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Microsoft and Amazon reach truce allowing former AWS executive Charlie Bell to start in a new role


Microsoft and Amazon reached an agreement that clears the way for former Amazon Web Services executive Charlie Bell to begin his new job at the helm of a newly formed cybersecurity engineering organization within the Redmond technology company.

The advance ends a confrontation that lasted for several weeks, avoiding a legal fight over the terms of Bell’s non-compete agreement with Amazon.

“After constructive discussions with Amazon, Charlie Bell began his new role on October 11, focused on advancing cybersecurity capabilities that will benefit the technology sector and the broader economy,” said Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of communications, responding to a GeekWire query on Monday.

We have contacted Amazon for feedback on the situation.


Bell, a member of Amazon’s senior leadership team and a longtime lynchpin of the company’s cloud business, left the Seattle company in August after more than 23 years. That news was followed two weeks later by reports that he had taken what was then an unspecified role from Microsoft.

Microsoft later confirmed in September that it hired Bell to lead a new Security, Compliance, Identity and Management group that brings together many of its existing teams in those areas as part of a larger initiative. In a memo to employees at the time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Bell “would take over his job duties once he reaches a resolution with his former employer.”

At the time, Microsoft cited its own efforts to reach similar resolutions with Amazon when Microsoft executives jumped ship for Amazon in the past. Amazon has been more aggressive in enforcing non-compete agreements in recent years, taking some former executives to court when they left to join rivals like Google.

Bell had been considered a candidate to replace Andy Jassy as CEO of AWS after Jassy was named CEO of Amazon. However, the primary role for AWS went to Adam Selipsky, former CEO of Tableau Software in Seattle, who rejoined Amazon to lead the cloud business.

Non-compete agreements, which have become virtually unenforceable in California, are still allowed in Washington state. However, under a state law passed in 2019, they can’t be applied to employees making less than $ 100,000, and they can’t cover a period of more than 18 months, among other restrictions.

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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