Werner Vogels in 2008 in Amsterdam
|Born||Werner Hans Peter Vogels
3 October 1958
|Alma mater||Vrije Universiteit
The Hague University of Applied Sciences
|Known for||Amazon Web Services|
|Thesis||Scalable Cluster Technologies for Mission Critical Enterprise Computing (2003)|
|Doctoral advisor||Henri Bal
Werner Hans Peter Vogels (born 3 October 1958) is the chief technology officer and Vice President of Amazon.com in charge of driving technology innovation within the company. Vogels has broad internal and external responsibilities.
After his mandatory military service that he served in the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vogels studied radiology, both diagnostics and therapy. He worked at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoekziekenhuis, part of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, from 1979 through 1985. In 1985 he went back to university to study Computer Science. After completing his studies he pursued a career in computer science research.
From 1991 through 1994, Vogels was a senior researcher at INESC in Lisboa, Portugal. He worked with Prof. Paulo Verissimo and Luis Rodrigues on distributed systems support for factory floor automation in EC projects such as Delta-4. In 1994 he was invited to join the Computer Science department of Cornell University as a visiting scientist.
From 1994 until 2004, Vogels was a research scientist at the Computer Science Department of Cornell University. He mainly conducted research in scalable reliable enterprise systems. He is the author of many conference and journal articles, mainly on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing systems.
He co-founded a company with Kenneth Birman and Robbert van Renesse in 1997 called Reliable Network Solutions, Inc. The company possessed US patents on computer network resource monitoring and multicast protocols. From 1999 through 2002, he held vice president and chief technology officer positions with the company.
He joined Amazon in September 2004 as the director of systems research. He was named chief technology officer in January 2005 and vice president in March of that year.
Vogels maintains a blog focusing on "building scalable and robust distributed systems", which he started in 2001 while a scientist at Cornell. It was first used to discuss early results of his research. After he joined Amazon.com, the nature of the weblog changed to be more product-oriented with some general technology and industry writings.
Vogels described the deep technical nature of Amazon's infrastructure work in a paper about Amazon's Dynamo, the storage engine for the Amazon Shopping Cart. He is generally regarded as one of the world's top experts on ultra-scalable systems and he uses his weblog to educate the community about issues such as eventual consistency.
In 2008, it became evident that Vogels was one of the architects behind Amazon's approach to cloud computing, the Amazon Web Services (AWS). During that year Vogels was continuously on the road to promote cloud computing and AWS and its benefits to the industry.
Information Week recognized Vogels for educational and promotional role in cloud computing with the 2008 CIO/CTO of the Year award. In an accompanying interview Vogels provides some details of the history of his work at Amazon.
Other awards include the 2009 Media Momentum Personality of the Year Award. In 2010 readers of ReadWriteWeb voted on the "Cloud's Most Influential Executive" and selected Vogels with a double digit margin.
On June 20, 2014, Vogels received the inaugural Holland on the Hill Heineken Award for "Substantial contributions to the US-Dutch economic relationship, a commitment to innovation and support for entrepreneurs". As part of the award Vogels delivered a lecture "Amazon Innovation - Enabling Everyone to Pursue their Dreams" in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.
In 2014 ExecRank ranked Vogels as the #1 Chief Technology Officer.
Vogels is married to Annet Vogels, a former musician with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. They have two daughters, Laura Vogels and Kim Vogels, who both studied Drama and Theater Arts in London, UK and moved to New York City after completing their studies.
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