UPDATED 08:05 EDT / APRIL 05 2021


Top AWS executive Teresa Carlson joins Splunk as president and chief growth officer

Top Amazon Web Services Inc. executive Teresa Carlson early today joined big-data analytics company Splunk Inc. in the newly created role of president and chief growth officer.

Carlson will report to Doug Merritt, Splunk’s chief executive officer, and will work closely with Splunk’s sales, customer success and marketing leaders to align and drive the company’s ongoing business transformations across Splunk’s go-to-market business segments.

She said in a statement that she aims to “bring exciting cloud and data solutions to global customers across all industries.” More specifically, a Splunk spokesperson said, she will report directly to Merritt and will work closely with interim Chief Marketing Officer Claire Hockin, Chief Customer Officer John Sabino, Chief Revenue Officer Christian Smith, who will all report to her.

Highly regarded in the industry, Carlson is currently vice president for AWS’ Worldwide Public Sector and Industries. She also founded AWS’ Worldwide Public Sector organization in 2010 after working for nine years as vice president of federal sales and operations at Microsoft Corp.

Essentially, Carlson took the public sector business, perhaps even more male-dominated than tech overall, from negligible to billions of dollars in revenue during that time. Indeed, she told SiliconANGLE Media CEO John Furrier, who wrote a profile of her for Forbes in 2018, that in 2011 when she first visited Capitol Hill, a Congressional leader she knew for years hadn’t even heard of cloud computing.

Carlson has overseen huge growth in AWS’ public sector business, so much so in fact that analysts said in July that it was outpacing the growth of AWS overall. In September, Carlson’s role was expanded to include AWS sales in regulated vertical industries, including financial services, telecommunications and energy, in addition to the firm’s aerospace and satellite venture announced in June.

“Teresa has an incredible record of leading category-defining, high-growth companies at a global scale to even greater success,” Merritt said in a statement. “I’ve had the privilege of getting to know her as a partner during her tenure at AWS and know she’ll be an excellent addition to our team.” Merritt added that Carlson “embodies the values” of Splunk.

“Splunk picked up an all-star with this hire,” said Furrier. “She’s viewed as a collaborative leader who inspires her team.”

AWS’ public sector business has had challenges, in particular seeing the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI contract go to Microsoft Corp. after AWS was widely seen as a shoo-in. However, that deal remains mired in the courts after AWS pointed out that former President Donald Trump had appeared to interfere with the process. Last October, AWS argued that Microsoft’s bid must be “invalidated” because the award was a “flawed and politically corrupted decision” that resulted from “systematic bias, bad faith and undue influence” it attributes to Trump.

Amazon.com Inc. and its cloud unit have seen some other significant management changes recently. AWS CEO Andy Jassy will take over Amazon overall, and former Tableau Inc. CEO Adam Selipsky will step into the top AWS job. Mike Clayville, AWS’ vice president of worldwide commercial sales and business development, left last August to join Stripe Inc. as chief revenue officer.

At the same time, a departure isn’t always a permanent one at Amazon. Selipsky, for instance, had worked at AWS before Tableau.

“We’re really proud about the work Teresa has done to help public sector customers around the world reimagine digital transformation and achieve mission success, and we wish her the best moving forward,” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement.

With AWS Worldwide Public Sector providing services for healthcare organizations and government agencies, it comes as no surprise that the service found extensive use with the COVID-19 pandemic. Carlson spoke with Furrier during AWS re:Invent in December noting that COVID-19 was driving many federal agencies to accelerate migration to the cloud because of an urgent need to gather and exchange critical research and health data from agencies across the world.

“During COVID we have seen the use of data go up like crazy,” Carlson said at the time. “Think about economic data and health data, and putting those datasets together in a way to have deeper understanding of what’s happening within communities and states. We’ve seen a merging of data in a big way.”

Carlson has also been a strong advocate for empowering women in the technology field, including the creation of “We Power Tech,” AWS’s diversity and inclusion initiative, which aims to ensure underrepresented groups – including women – are reflected throughout AWS outreach efforts.

In addition, Carlson also dedicates time to philanthropic and leadership roles in support of the global community. Notable positions include chairwoman of the White House Historical Association’s Council on History, a board member of the Alliance for Digital Innovation, a member of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, member of the International Women’s Forum and advisor to Georgetown University’s Hacking Defense Program within the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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