Amazon Web Services India and South Asia head Puneet Chandok resigns

The downsizing round is part of the layoffs announcement made in March by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, which was expected to impact 9,000 employees

Puneet Chandok

Peerzada Abrar Bengaluru

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Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) commercial business president for India and South Asia Puneet Chandok (pictured) has resigned and is set to leave the firm from August 31, 2023, according to the sources. 

Vaishali Kasture, who heads the enterprise, mid-market and global businesses, AWS India and South Asia (Amazon Web Services India) will take over as the interim leader of commercial business.The company confirmed the development and said, “We thank Puneet (Chandok) for his contribution and leadership over the last four years and wish him all the best.”

The move comes just a few weeks after the cloud computing giant announced plans to invest $12.7 billion in cloud infrastructure in India by 2030. This follows AWS’s investment of  $3.7 billion) between 2016-2022, which will bring AWS’s total investment in India to $16.4 billion by 2030.

According to the experts, Chandok is leaving at a critical time as the investment is also expected to help the company take on rivals such as Google and Microsoft to dominate cloud computing services. 

“Since 2016, AWS has invested billions of dollars into cloud infrastructure in India to support the tremendous growth we have witnessed in the use of cloud for digital transformation,” Puneet Chandok had said after AWS announced the new investment. “AWS is committed to driving social and economic impact in India. In addition to building cloud infrastructure and helping local customers and partners digitally transform, we have trained more than four million people in India with cloud skills since 2017, and invested in six utility-scale renewable energy projects to meet our global 100 per cent renewable energy goal by 2025. Our investment will help create more beneficial ripple effects,” he said.

AWS India’s revenues crossed $1 billion in the year ended March 2022, growing by 67 per cent compared to the previous year, as per filings reviewed by media platform The Arc. 

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Chandok is also moving at a time when Amazon is reportedly laying off employees in India across different functions and businesses including human resources, support functions and Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to a media report, the firm has laid off about 500 employees. The news couldn’t be independently verified. However, according to the sources, the layoff took place in April this year and the number of people sacked is far less than 500.

The downsizing round is part of the layoffs announcement made in March by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, which was expected to impact 9,000 employees. The cuts are on top of the previously announced layoffs that began in November and extended into January. Early this year Amazon started notifying its employees affected by its new round of layoffs, as a part of its plan to reduce its headcount by around 18,000 people.

In a memo to employees in March this year, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said it was a “difficult decision” taken for the long-term benefit of the company. “ As we’ve just concluded the second phase of our operating plan (“OP2”) this past week, I’m writing to share that we intend to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks—mostly in AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch,” Jassy had said. “ For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.”

First Published: Jun 2 2023 | 11:32 PM IST

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