Labor board authorizes new Amazon union vote

The director of the National Labor Relation Board’s 10th region has authorized a new union election for workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama fulfillment center. An NLRB representative has confirmed the decision with TechCrunch, which would see the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union getting a second chance to unionize workers at the site, following its defeat back in April.

The victory was a lopsided one for the mega-retailer, though the RWDSU immediately called shenanigans in what was expected to be a major test for unionizing efforts for blue collar tech workers. At the time, the union accused Amazon of “gaslighting” employees through “egregious and blatantly illegal action.”

Amazon naturally denied the accusations, stating, “It’s easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that’s not true. Our employees heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers, and media outlets than they heard from us.”

RWDSU head Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement today that the new ruling serves as vindication for those earlier claims, “Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along – that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace – and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal. Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union.”

A date for a new election has yet to be determined. It will, however, no doubt become another national flashpoint for unionization efforts that have only grown in momentum during the pandemic and subsequent economic slowdowns.

“The National Labor Relations Board will conduct a second secret ballot election among the unit employees,” the board noted in its ruling. “Employees will vote whether they wish to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The manner, date, time, and place of the election will be specified in a Notice of Second Election.”

Amazon expressed displeasure at today’s ruling. Spokesperson Kelly Nantel noted in a statement,

Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly chose not to join the RWDSU earlier this year. It’s disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that those votes shouldn’t count. As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees. Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes—quickly. That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle. The benefits of direct relationships between managers and employees can’t be overstated—these relationships allow every employee’s voice to be heard, not just the voices of a select few. While we’ve made great progress in important areas like pay and safety, we know there are plenty of things that we can keep doing better, both in our fulfillment centers and in our corporate offices, and that’s our focus—to work directly with our employees to keep getting better every day.

AWS Braket gets improved support for hybrid quantum-classical workloads

In 2019, AWS launched Braket, its quantum computing service that makes hardware and software tools from its partners Rigetti, IonQ and D-Wave available in its cloud. Given how quickly quantum computing is moving ahead, it’s maybe no surprise that a lot has changed since then. Among other things, hybrid algorithms that use classical computers to optimize quantum algorithms — a process similar to training machine learning models — have become a standard tool for developers. Today, AWS announced improved support for running these hybrid algorithms on Braket.

Previously, to run these algorithms, developers would have to set up and manage the infrastructure to run the optimization algorithms on classical machines and then manage the integration with the quantum computing hardware, in addition to the monitoring and visualization tools for analyzing the results.

Image Credits: AWS

But that’s not all. “Another big challenge is that [Quantum Processing Units] are shared, inelastic resources, and you compete with others for access,” AWS’s Danilo Poccia explains in today’s announcement. “This can slow down the execution of your algorithm. A single large workload from another customer can bring the algorithm to a halt, potentially extending your total runtime for hours. This is not only inconvenient but also impacts the quality of the results because today’s QPUs need periodic re-calibration, which can invalidate the progress of a hybrid algorithm. In the worst case, the algorithm fails, wasting budget and time.”

With the new Amazon Braket Hybrid Jobs feature, developers get a fully managed service that handles the hardware and software interactions between the classical and quantum machines — and developers will get priority access to quantum processing units to provide them with more predictability. Braket will automatically spin up the necessary resources (and shut them down once a job is completed). Developers can set custom metrics for their algorithms and, using Amazon CloudWatch, they can visualize the results in near real time.

“As application developers, Braket Hybrid Jobs gives us the opportunity to explore the potential of hybrid variational algorithms with our customers,” said Vic Putz, head of engineering at QCWare. “We are excited to extend our integration with Amazon Braket and the ability to run our own proprietary algorithms libraries in custom containers means we can innovate quickly in a secure environment. The operational maturity of Amazon Braket and the convenience of priority access to different types of quantum hardware means we can build this new capability into our stack with confidence.”

AWS launches new robotics programs

To kick of re:Invent, AWS’s flagship conference, the cloud computing giant today announced IoT RoboRunner, a new service for building applications that help large fleets of robots work together. This new service aims to provide the infrastructure necessary to build the work and fleet management applications necessary to run the kind of robot fleets that Amazon itself utilizes in its warehouses, for example.

The company also today announced a new robotics accelerator program.

At its core, RoboRunner helps developers build applications that integrate with robots from different manufacturers and manage the lifecycle of these applications. Currently, AWS argues, it’s too difficult to integrate robots from different vendors into a single system, leaving enterprises with a number of silos where they manage their robots, which in turn makes it hard to build applications where these heterogeneous fleets cooperate.

Image Credits: AWS

RoboRunner provides developers with a centralized data repository for their entire fleet, as well as a registry for modeling all of the destinations in a given facility and a registry for keeping track of all of the tasks performed by these robots.

The target customer for this service is large industrial enterprises that operate fleets of automated guided vehicles, mobile robots and robotic arms.

In addition to RoboRunner, AWS also announced a new robotics startup accelerator, the AWS Robotics Startup Accelerator, in collaboration with MassRobotics.

“Today, there are only a few successful commercial robotics companies, and there are a few big reasons for this,” AWS CTO Werner Vogels writes in today’s announcement. “First, finding a fit in the robotics product market is difficult because real-world environments are dynamic and unpredictable, so pairing the right niche with the right capabilities can be a challenge. Second, building robots with a high degree of autonomy and intelligence requires multidisciplinary skills that are hard to find and recruit for. Third, robotics is capital intensive and requires large up-front investment in sensors, actuators, and mechanical hardware even when they’re already commercially available.”

The new program is open to early-stage startups (less than $10 million in revenue and $100 million raised. The selected companies will get access to specialized training and mentorship from robotics experts and up to $10,000 in AWS credits.  

Particular Audience takes in $7.5M to give retailers way to take on Amazon

Being in control of customer data is one of the ways retailers, like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix, are able to tap into consumer behavior and create customized experiences whenever a user logs in.

Those are some of the reasons Amazon, in particular, is poised to grab 50% of the U.S. e-commerce market this year, and why Sydney-based Particular Audience wants to break down the data silos going on within e-commerce to give any retailer a chance to gather similar data on their customers to personalize experiences.

Particular Audience provides product discovery tools for retailers that are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. In fact, the company wants to go further and offer personalization based on anonymity and without compromising personal data, CEO James Taylor told TechCrunch.

Taylor launched Particular Audience in 2019 after taking a few years to work out the technology. The global pandemic threw a wrench in some plans, with Taylor and a handful of executives taking a pay cut so as to not have to let any employees go. However, with the e-commerce industry growing over the past 18 months, the company was able to get back to where it was, he said.

The company has now amassed a real-time data set on product search, sales, pricing and availability from across the internet, from its browser plugin SimilarInc.com, which gathers the data from its online shopper community without tracking or cookies. Retailers can analyze that data to tell them, for example, how better to promote high-margin or overstocked items.

“Data IP is the current frontier,” he said. “It is data that is going to improve predictions to personalize inventory and reduce waste while also helping with supply chain management. The goal is to create website data visibility that would benefit all of the other merchants other than Amazon.”

To continue developing its technology, the company secured $7.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by Equity Venture Partners and that included existing investors Carthona Capital and a group of angel investors. This latest investment gives the company $9.5 million in total funding raised to date, which includes $1.3 million in seed funding raised in 2019.

Particular Audience

How Particular Audience works on a website. Image Credits: Particular Audience

Particular Audience is working with approximately 100 websites currently. In addition to Sydney, the company also has an office in London. Europe makes up more than 50% of Particular Audience’s global revenue, and the new funding enables the company to open a new office in Amsterdam next year.

North America is also a growth territory for the company, where it has already opened an office in Vancouver, with plans to open a New York office in 2022 as well. The company has 60 employees, up from 20 last year, and Taylor expects to add 40 more in the next year, including rounding out its leadership team with a head of product.

The funding will also be invested into building out an API-first product suite and retail media platform so retailers can gain a revenue stream from cost per clicks. Meanwhile, the company saw 460% year over year in revenue growth and expects to hit $100 million in gross merchandise value through its products this year, up 19 times in the last two years, Taylor said.

As part of the investment, Daniel Szekely, partner at Equity Venture Partners, will join the board.

“Personalization of the internet is a critical frontier for e-commerce retailers, and in a world of growing online shopping options and diminishing consumer attention spans, delivering an experience that meets individual consumers’ needs is absolutely critical,” he said in a written statement. “James and his outstanding team have tackled this issue in a novel way, and the important need for their solution has been made obvious as the business gets pulled into multiple geographies. We’re thrilled to back them in their Series A and know this is just the beginning of the journey.”

 

Second-hand car auction platform Motorway hits Unicorn status after $190M raise with Index, ICONIQ

It was only in June that Motorway – a U.K. platform on which professional car dealers can bid in an auction for privately owned cars for sale – raised $67.7 million in a Series B round. It’s now raised a $190m Series C funding round led by Index Ventures and ICONIQ Growth, a leading Silicon Valley technology growth investment firm. Existing investors Latitude, Unbound, and BMW i Ventures also participated in the round. The startup is now claiming a valuation of over $1bn.

Part of the reason is the impact of the COVID pandemic on supply chains. Second-hand cars have boomed in price because new cars are being made in smaller numbers due to the lack of supply of computer chips and other essential equipment from China.

On Motorway consumers can sell their car via a smartphone app that also uses computer vision to assess the state of the car. The cars are then bid on by professional car dealers in a daily online auction, with the car collected for free by the winning dealer within 24 hours. Given it’s also a “contactless” process, dealers and car owners increasingly seeking to buy and sell cars online.

Motorway says it now has a network of 4,000 professional car dealers using the platform and claims it has booked a 300% uplift in third-quarter sales to $411 million compared with $105 million last year. Some 100,000 used cars have been sold on Motorway since launch, with over 8,000 cars currently being sold a month, with over $2bn projected completed sales over the next year.

Motorway is also announcing the appointment of James Wilson, former Director of Marketplace Fulfillment for Amazon UK, as Chief Operating Officer.

Tom Leathes, CEO of Motorway, said: “8,000 car sales a month is still less than one percent of UK used car sales – so there’s a massive opportunity ahead.”

Danny Rimer, Partner at Index Ventures, said: “Since joining the board, following our initial investment in June, I have experienced first-hand just how fast Motorway is growing and how agile the team is in scaling the business to support this incredible growth.”

Yoonkee Sull, Partner at ICONIQ Growth said: “The used car market’s move online is only accelerating and we believe Motorway is delivering the best consumer experience and the most differentiated supply to dealers in the UK.”

This latest investment brings Motorway’s all-time raise to $273m since it was founded by Leathes, Harry Jones and Alex Buttle in 2017.

In a call with me Leathes added: “There’s no connection with BMW particularly, but they are automotive specialists so they bring quite a lot of knowledge to the white broader market and trends that are happening. They were also part of the B along with Latitude and Unbound.”

“What motorway does differently to a lot of competitors is that we are we’re not a retailer. We don’t own inventory. We’re a marketplace. And so that that allows us to scale much more quickly,” he said.

Gift Guide: Black Friday tech deals that really are worth looking at

Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’ve got lots of them. We’re just starting to roll out this year’s gift guides, so check back from now until the end of December for more

It is, somehow, that time again! Thanksgiving is hours away, which means it’s time to figure out what, if anything, you want to buy on Black Friday.

Should you buy anything on Black Friday? It depends. Some people are able to make a game out of it and save a stack on things they were going to buy anyway. Others end up getting fleeced by sales that aren’t really sales or end-of-life TVs repackaged under new model numbers.

There definitely are deals to be found, of course — you’ve just gotta be smart about it. Some of the things we like to keep in mind:

  • Buying stuff you already wanted, at a discount? Good. Buying stuff you didn’t want, just because it’s maybe cheaper? Not so good.
  • Make sure that thing you’re buying is actually on sale, and that they didn’t just hike the price up temporarily yesterday for the sake of “discounts” today. Historical price trackers like camelcamelcamel can help with that.
  • Check the model number on anything you’re buying. If you can’t find any trace of it older than a few weeks, something fishy might be going on.

With all that said, here are some of the generally good deals we’ve found around the web — the stuff that’s solid, battle-tested and that we’d probably recommend at full price. We’ll be adding more throughout the week as we find them.

This article contains links to affiliate partners where available. When you buy through these links, TechCrunch may earn an affiliate commission.

Apple devices

Airpods Pro

Image Credits: Brian Heater/TechCrunch

Not too long ago, discounts on Apple gear were a rare sight — nowadays, though, it’s not too tough to at least save a couple bucks.

For example: Amazon’s got the latest non-pro AirPods down to $155 (usually $179), the AirPod Pros down to $159 (usually $190+) and the over ear AirPods Max down to $429 (from $549)

Amazon’s also got the best iPad Pro deal we’ve found so far, taking anywhere from $100 to $150 off the 2021 12.9″ model — so $999 for the 128 GB base model, for example, instead of $1099.

Image Credits: Apple

Best Buy has the generally more budget-friendly 40 mm Apple Watch SE marked down to $219, normally $279. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest Apple Watch, your best bet is probably Amazon again, where the Series 7 has been cut down to $379 instead of $399 — but know that inventory seems limited and you might not get the color/band you want.

Big discounts on M1 Macs seem rare right now — which makes sense, as they’re still relatively new. When they do pop up, stock seems to be limited or shipping is delayed well into next year. Apple will be giving out $100 gift cards with the purchase of eligible Macs (which, sadly, appears to exclude the 14″ and 16″ M1 MacBook Pros) but that deal seemingly doesn’t start until the actual morning of Black Friday

Amazon devices

echo show 5

Image Credits: Brian Heater/TechCrunch

Amazon usually does pretty deep discounts on its own gear for Black Friday, and that’s holding true this year.

The 4K Fire TV stick, for example, is down to $25 (normally $50).

Their latest-gen Kindle, meanwhile, is down to $70 (normally $110) if you buy the version that doesn’t come with ads splashed around the interface. If you don’t mind the ads, it’s $50 (normally $90).

Got a smart house full of Echo devices and want to add some more? The latest (4th gen) model is down to $60 (usually $80-$100). The 2021 Echo Show, with its camera and 5.5″ display, is down to $45 (usually around $80), and the itty-bitty (if probably at the end of its lifespan) Echo Dot puck is down to $20 (usually $30).

Google devices

Image Credits: Google

Not to be outdone, Google’s got a bunch of discounts on its own devices, as well.

Chromecast with Google TV (the Chromecast with the remote) is down to $40 (usually $50).

Image Credits: Google

Most of the company’s Nest stuff has been marked down — the Nest Audio smart speaker is down to $60 (usually $100), their Nest WiFi router mesh access points are down $30 each and the latest Nest Hub smart display has been discounted to $50 (usually $100.) Even Nest’s relatively new outdoor camera is down to $150 (normally $180).

Roku

Image Credits: Roku

Looking to stay out of the Apple/Google/Amazon ecosystems but still want a solid streaming device for your TV? Roku’s got a few options: The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is down to $30 (generally $50), while one of their sound bars — the smaller Streambar, not the Streambar Pro — is down to $80 (generally $130.)

Oculus Quest 2

Image Credits: Meta/Oculus

Oculus’ Quest 2 virtual reality headset is about as good as entry-level VR gets right now. If you’re just looking to dabble or otherwise don’t want to spend a zillion dollars on a megapowerful VR rig, the Quest 2 is really a good place to start. I’ve happily recommended it to a bunch of people at the full price … so at a discount? Absolutely.

The best deal I’ve found so far is Target’s, where you’ll get a $50 Target gift card with either the 128 GB ($300) or 256 GB ($400) model.

Backbone

Image Credits: Backbone

If you often use your iPhone* for things like Apple Arcade or remotely playing games on an Xbox or PlayStation, the Backbone is a very, very good controller add-on. It snaps on quick, it’s solid as a rock, and it’s way more comfortable than trying to paw at the touchscreen.

I thought it was almost too cheap at $99, but now they’ve marked it down to $85 for Black Friday — and they’ve thrown in three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for good measure. That’s a steal, honestly.

(* They recently added support for controlling other devices via wired USB, but that’s more of a neat bonus and less the main draw.)

Apps and Services

Image Credits: Hulu

A few tried-and-true apps and services are offering deals, albeit often with caveats. For example:

  • Hulu will give you a year of ad-supported Hulu for 99 cents a month, instead of $7 a month. The catch? It’s only for those who are new and “returning” subscribers, the latter defined as those who haven’t paid for Hulu in the last month.
  • If you don’t already have Disney+, Amazon is doing a kind of confusing deal as a tie-in with Amazon Music Unlimited. If you already have Amazon Music Unlimited, they’ll give you three months of Disney+ for free. If you don’t already have it and are willing to sign up for the $8 per month service, they’ll give you six months of Disney+.
  • Plex is selling its lifetime pass option, usually $120, for $90.
  • Adobe is selling its “All Apps” package — so access to Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Audition and everything else Adobe makes under the Creative Cloud umbrella — for $30 a month, down from $52. Sadly, terms specify “first-time subscribers” only.
  • Popular password manager LastPass is offering plans for 25% off this week. USE A PASSWORD MANAGER.
  • Guided meditation app Headspace is 50%-60% off right now, depending on if you’re paying monthly or annually. If monthly, it’s 60% off — $4.99 a month, instead of $12.99. If annually, it’s 50% off — which might sound like a smaller discount, but at $35 for a year (normally $70), you’re paying about $2.91 per month (usually around $6.) Both plans renew at their respective full price after the first year.

TechCrunch Gift Guide 2021

With his first re:Invent looming, what will AWS’s new boss bring to the table?

It’s that magical time of year. No, I’m not talking about the upcoming holiday season. Instead, it’s time for AWS’s annual customer extravaganza re:Invent, which starts next week. The conference is always a newsy event with tons of new features and products being announced. It’s also a time for AWS to pull together the press, customers, partners and other interested parties to party in Vegas. This year it has a new twist.

Besides the gathering returning to Vegas after a year as virtual event due to the pandemic, this year’s event will mark the first re:Invent with new CEO Adam Selipsky at the helm.

Selipsky came over from Tableau earlier this year after Jeff Bezos announced he was moving into the executive chairman role, and former AWS CEO Andy Jassy moved up to replace Bezos as Amazon CEO.

With the executive musical chairs shuffle settled, Selipsky will deliver the main keynote, and he’ll have big shoes to fill. Jassy had an uncanny ability to keep his company’s vast product catalogue inside his head and talk about how all of the pieces connected to one another seemingly extemporaneously. Pulling off a similar feat would not be easy.

But Selipsky brings his own personal strengths to the table as Jassy pointed out in the email he sent to employees announcing that the former Tableau exec would be his successor:

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation, and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team. And, having been in such a senior role at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and business well.”

That is all true, and the division he is now running remains firmly in command of the market, but there have been signals that in spite of that success, that Selipsky could be ready to put his own stamp on AWS and maybe begin to tweak how they do business.

For example, he told Bloomberg last week that he intends to take a page from Microsoft and Google’s cloud playbook and start to create industry-specific solutions. Under Jassy’s rule, they avoided this strategy, preferring a more generalized approach, letting partners deal with the specifics.

Perhaps his short time as part of Salesforce when Tableau was acquired, which likes the industry-driven solutions approach, convinced Selipsky that this would be a good way for AWS to go as well. But beyond that, he has not revealed if he intends to change things under his command. Maybe he will next week, or perhaps he sees something that isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing.

When asked what advice they would give to Selipsky, a couple of industry watchers had quick responses.

Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research says the first thing he would advise Selipsky to do is reduce the growing set of products into a simpler, less comprehensive catalogue. “CTOs avoid [solutions that have] to rely on the ingenuity of developers instead of a platform offering with version numbers and road maps from AWS connecting the dots for them,” he said.

Secondly he would suggest becoming more enterprise friendly by taking a page from how Google and Microsoft (and even IBM and Oracle) about how these companies approach cloud sales to larger companies. He would suggest possibly hiring experienced enterprise executives as Google has done, particularly with CEO Thomas Kurian, who came from Oracle in 2018 or Robert Enselin, who came on board from SAP in 2019 as president of global cloud operations.

Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy has a couple of different recommendations, proposing they move up the stack and start developing more SaaS applications to compete with Google, Microsoft and Adobe, among others. Further, he wants to see them move into hybrid more where their competitors are trying to take the lead.

All that said, the division is immensely successful. In the most recent quarterly report, the company reported $16.1 billion in revenue, but Selipsky himself told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang in an interview last week that you he knows he can not simply rest on his laurels and count on that success continuing with such formidable competitors chasing his company.

“It’s really important to continue to act as if we’re insurgents and not to start to act like incumbents,” Selipsky told Chang.

Regardless, at re:Invent, he will have his first turn as the face of AWS, delivering the main keynote, and while he is reporting to Jassy, he is his own person and will emphasize what he sees as important to continue growing the lucrative division. We will see next week if that involves any significant changes or not.

With his first re:Invent looming, what will AWS’s new boss bring to the table?

It’s that magical time of year. No, I’m not talking about the upcoming holiday season. Instead, it’s time for AWS’s annual customer extravaganza re:Invent, which starts next week. The conference is always a newsy event with tons of new features and products being announced. It’s also a time for AWS to pull together the press, customers, partners and other interested parties to party in Vegas. This year it has a new twist.

Besides the gathering returning to Vegas after a year as virtual event due to the pandemic, this year’s event will mark the first re:Invent with new CEO Adam Selipsky at the helm.

Selipsky came over from Tableau earlier this year after Jeff Bezos announced he was moving into the executive chairman role, and former AWS CEO Andy Jassy moved up to replace Bezos as Amazon CEO.

With the executive musical chairs shuffle settled, Selipsky will deliver the main keynote, and he’ll have big shoes to fill. Jassy had an uncanny ability to keep his company’s vast product catalogue inside his head and talk about how all of the pieces connected to one another seemingly extemporaneously. Pulling off a similar feat would not be easy.

But Selipsky brings his own personal strengths to the table as Jassy pointed out in the email he sent to employees announcing that the former Tableau exec would be his successor:

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation, and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team. And, having been in such a senior role at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and business well.”

That is all true, and the division he is now running remains firmly in command of the market, but there have been signals that in spite of that success, that Selipsky could be ready to put his own stamp on AWS and maybe begin to tweak how they do business.

For example, he told Bloomberg last week that he intends to take a page from Microsoft and Google’s cloud playbook and start to create industry-specific solutions. Under Jassy’s rule, they avoided this strategy, preferring a more generalized approach, letting partners deal with the specifics.

Perhaps his short time as part of Salesforce when Tableau was acquired, which likes the industry-driven solutions approach, convinced Selipsky that this would be a good way for AWS to go as well. But beyond that, he has not revealed if he intends to change things under his command. Maybe he will next week, or perhaps he sees something that isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing.

When asked what advice they would give to Selipsky, a couple of industry watchers had quick responses.

Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research says the first thing he would advise Selipsky to do is reduce the growing set of products into a simpler, less comprehensive catalogue. “CTOs avoid [solutions that have] to rely on the ingenuity of developers instead of a platform offering with version numbers and road maps from AWS connecting the dots for them,” he said.

Secondly he would suggest becoming more enterprise friendly by taking a page from how Google and Microsoft (and even IBM and Oracle) about how these companies approach cloud sales to larger companies. He would suggest possibly hiring experienced enterprise executives as Google has done, particularly with CEO Thomas Kurian, who came from Oracle in 2018 or Robert Enselin, who came on board from SAP in 2019 as president of global cloud operations.

Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy has a couple of different recommendations, proposing they move up the stack and start developing more SaaS applications to compete with Google, Microsoft and Adobe, among others. Further, he wants to see them move into hybrid more where their competitors are trying to take the lead.

All that said, the division is immensely successful. In the most recent quarterly report, the company reported $16.1 billion in revenue, but Selipsky himself told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang in an interview last week that you he knows he can not simply rest on his laurels and count on that success continuing with such formidable competitors chasing his company.

“It’s really important to continue to act as if we’re insurgents and not to start to act like incumbents,” Selipsky told Chang.

Regardless, at re:Invent, he will have his first turn as the face of AWS, delivering the main keynote, and while he is reporting to Jassy, he is his own person and will emphasize what he sees as important to continue growing the lucrative division. We will see next week if that involves any significant changes or not.