Amazon Reveals How It Views Google’s Cloud Efforts In Suit Filed Against Former Employee

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Amazon has revealed a bit of detail for how it views Google’s cloud efforts in a lawsuit filed against a former employee on grounds he violated a  non-compete clause.

Amazon filed the lawsuit on behalf of Amazon Web Services, claiming Daniel Powers, its former vice president of sales, has violated a severance agreement by taking a new job at Google as a director of cloud platform sales.  In June, AWS offered Powers the severance agreement in lieu of termination. In September, Google hired Powers as director of Cloud Platform Sales.

In the suit, Amazon explains how it views Google as a competitor and interestingly, how it views its own business.  The company boils its work down to how it “rents,” computing resources. But it’s what Amazon says about Google that is noteworthy and points to why Amazon is trying to keep Powers from working at Google:

In the suit, Amazon says AWS  hired Daniel Powers from IBM and taught him the business from “top to bottom.” He learned about the company’s strategic road map, pricing strategies and all that goes with working as a high ranking sales executive. He had access to overall sales information and participated in high level, weekly meetings. He knows what customers are prospects and which ones are not. He has knowledge of what parts of the world AWS plans to expand. Powers, AWS charges, is the one person who can inflict the most damage on AWS due to his intimate knowledge of the company.

The suit, first reported by GeekWire, speaks to the challenge AWS sees in Google ands its new cloud computing venture.  Google Compute Engine  (GCE) was  announced earlier this year at Google I/O. Krishnan Subramanian did a recent analysis of  GCE  on Cloud Ave– a worthy read for getting up to speed about what Google is offering and why it will have a significant impact on the cloud computing landscape.

This lawsuit points to how seriously Amazon sees Google as a competitor in the cloud space.

Here are the papers Amazon filed.