Leaked email from one of the leading Amazon Web Services CEO candidates shows the 3 growth priorities for the cloud business this year (AMZN)

Amazon Web Services VP Matt Garman

Summary List Placement

Amazon Web Services is committing to three main growth strategies this year as it looks to surpass $50 billion in annual revenue for the first time: a unified sales approach, a continued focus on expansion, and a differentiated offering in areas like call center software and artificial intelligence.

That was the key message from Matt Garman, VP of sales and marketing at AWS, who shared broad outlines of the company’s future growth strategy in an internal email last month, which was reviewed by Insider.

Garman, who was promoted to AWS’s top sales and marketing position in early 2020, is widely considered one of the frontrunners to become the new AWS CEO when longtime cloud boss Andy Jassy replaces Jeff Bezos as Amazon’s CEO later this year. The email gives a rare look into Garman’s thinking and the areas he’s most focused on, as he is expected to take on a bigger role this year even if he doesn’t win the CEO spot.

In the email, titled “AWS growth strategies and priorities,” Garman emphasized the need to work as a “single team” when working with customers, and reduce any friction between internal sales teams. He also highlighted the importance of trying to attract new companies that may have never worked with AWS or any other cloud service.

For new opportunities, he named Amazon’s Connect call center software — alongside artificial intelligence, machine learning, databases and analytics — as one of the key business products.

These are the three growth priorities mentioned in Garman’s email:

AWS #Oneteam: We are a single team working to sell solutions and services that solve customer problems. We will continue to reinvent ourselves to adapt to customer needs. 

Growth focus: We will focus on greenfield acquisitions and accelerating mass migrations to go all-in with the next wave of AWS customers.

Strategic workloads: we aim to win the workloads where AWS is differentiated and reinventing the segment. We see large opportunities in areas including Connect, AI/ML, databases, and analytics.” 

A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment.

Rare combination

Garman’s leadership and communication with employees have come under the spotlight as many see him as a leading candidate to replace Jassy as Amazon Web Services’ CEO. The company hasn’t announced Jassy’s replacement yet, but insiders believe it will come from a handful of rumored candidates, given Amazon’s propensity to fill executive roles from within.

Garman’s experience at AWS gives him the rare combination of engineering and business acumen. After starting at AWS in 2006, he’s been in various roles, including VP of Compute Services, which covers the flagship EC2 server business, arguably the most important part of the company. In 2020, AWS promoted him to his current sales and marketing chief role, and made him a part of the highly coveted S-team, an exclusive group of about two dozen senior executives that collaborate on important decisions.

Amazon employees told Insider that Garman has also taken on a more public role in recent months, becoming more visible as a leader. In recent emails to his team, Garman shared other details of his vision for the cloud unit, as Insider previously reported. He stressed an “AWS first” approach, encouraging employees to make partners give AWS products priority in their sales process. He also said Amazon had plans to fill additional 2,100 sales and marketing roles by the end of last year.

Amazon has doubled down on growing Garman’s sales and marketing team in recent years, amid intensifying competition from Microsoft and Google, and a growing need to attract large business customers to its cloud service. Amazon’s chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said in 2019 that the company is investing more in marketing and sales people “to handle a wider group of customers.”

Do you work at Amazon? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1 415 926 2066) or via email (ekim@insider.com).

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