What’s up with… AWS, BT, Google

  • AWS names its new CEO
  • BT to reward its frontline workers
  • Google appoints chip chief

A new name at the helm of Amazon Web Services and bonus news for BT’s frontline workers top today’s news pile.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has named Adam Selipsky as Andy Jassy’s successor as CEO. Selipsky previously worked for AWS for 11 years, running the cloud giant’s sales, marketing and support services until 2016, when he left to become the CEO at Tableau, which was acquired by Salesforce. Jassy is set to take over from Jeff Bezos as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter of this year. To find out more about Selipsky, who will re-join AWS on 17 May, read this letter from Jassy to AWS staff.

BT plans to offer “frontline workers a special bonus of £1,500,” some in cash now, some in shares after three years, “to recognise their efforts to keep its customers and the country connected during the pandemic.” This bonus is equivalent to about 5% of the average BT salary. “It is being made despite BT freezing pay across the company and ongoing, unresolved discussions with the trade unions over its transformation and modernisation plans,” the operator noted in reference to the ongoing dispute with the Communication Workers Union that could result in strike action. For more on BT’s bonus plans, see this press release

Google has hired Uri Frank, an Intel veteran, as its VP of Engineering for server chip design. He will lead a team in Israel developing SoC (Systems on Chip) designs for the hyperscaler’s compute platforms. “Just like on a motherboard, individual functional units (such as CPUs, TPUs, video transcoding, encryption, compression, remote communication, secure data summarization, and more) come from different sources. We buy where it makes sense, build it ourselves where we have to, and aim to build ecosystems that benefit the entire industry,” notes Google in this blog about the appointment. 

Nokia has struck a reseller agreement with alternative energy systems provider ClearWorld to provide smart lighting systems to municipalities and other organizations. Nokia will sell ClearWorld’s smart poles initially to US cities and military bases as part of the vendor’s smart city solutions portfolio. For further details, see this announcement

The takeover battle for photonics specialist Coherent continues, as Lumentum has once again trumped II-IV’s latest offer with a cash and stock bid worth $7 billion, which the Coherent board is now considering. The bidding war started in January when Lumentum tabled an offer worth $5.7 billion, which now appears somewhat cheeky. 

Unsere Grüne Glasfaser (UGG), the FTTH joint venture formed by the Allianz Group and Telefónica Deutschland, has raised €1.65 billion from a consortium of banks to fund the first stage of its €5 billion rollout plan. “The strong commitment shown by the syndicate of banks highlights the broad market support available to UGG to deliver its plan to pass more than 2 million households with full-fiber, high-speed internet over the coming 5-6 years” stated UGG in this announcement.

The 5G Open Innovation Lab (5GOILab) has selection of its third batch of companies to participate in the Spring 2021 program, which launched earlier this month.  The Lab is supported by its founding and corporate partners, which include Amdocs, Dell Technologies, F5, Intel, Microsoft, NASA, T-Mobile US and VMware. TO find out which companies have been chosen, see this announcement.  

Photonic components vendor Aeponyx, which develops products such as NG-PON2 transceivers for next-gen fixed broadband network systems, has closed a $10 million round of funding that will help it “build out its 5G product portfolio.” See this press release for further details.

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