This morning’s announcement that Adam Selipsky would be stepping down as AWS CEO, with longtime Amazonian Matt Garman stepping into the role, feels like a natural correction. Garman has long been seen as the heir apparent to AWS’s leadership. When Selipsky was named CEO in the last succession, my initial reaction was a baffled, “I’m sorry, who?”

To me, Selipsky has always been a bit of an enigma–extremely polished and always on-message, making it hard to see the person behind the public persona. His tenure, while marked by an impressive degree of message discipline, has been shadowed by an overemphasis on AI, obscuring other crucial areas.

Matt Garman is a different story. Despite any faults, he embodies the spirit of AWS, bleeding Squid Ink and Amazon Orange. He has either shaped the organization or been shaped by it to the point where they are indistinguishable. For example, he once assured me that I could contact him directly if I ever felt a customer wasn’t being treated fairly, and I am perhaps recklessly confident he would still take that call today. This level of customer obsession has been notably absent at Amazon in recent years, and I am hopeful we are on the brink of its revival.

I hope a few other things are about to change as well. I’ve gotten the distinct sense that whatever else it says about itself, AWS has shifted to being competitor focused at the expense of customers–and become a far less interesting company for it. Literally yesterday I had a conversation about this with a former Amazonian. We came to the reluctant conclusion that we were witnessing the long term decline of AWS into initially the number 2 cloud player in the next couple of years; neither of us had any idea how to arrest the slide.

Today is apparently a new day‚Äďand I feel that pessimism falling away. AWS is in dire need of a shakeup–from moving past the GenAI hype and the problematic practice of launching confusing, costly secondary services rather than improving the originals, to addressing the internal power struggles reminiscent of “The Battle of Conway’s Law” playing out across their product catalog. Installing a CEO who has been with the company since his internship might just be the fresh start AWS needs.

I remain cautiously optimistic. Managing AWS at its current $100 billion+ run rate is a colossal task, and at such scales, many corporate cultures struggle to maintain their integrity. Yet, with Garman at the helm, there’s a genuine chance for a return to the foundational values that made AWS the leader it’s become, hopefully steering it back to innovation and customer-centric strategies.