Microsoft India poaches former AWS India boss Puneet Chandok

Current boss bails for unspecified non-tech gig

Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it had hired Puneet Chandok as its new leader for India and Southeast Asia. Chandok's previous gig was president of AWS for India and South Asia.

According to Microsoft, starting September 1 Chandok "will oversee the integration of Microsoft's businesses across South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, further boosting the company's presence in the region, while deepening its focus on key industries through a customer-centric approach with generative AI at its core."

He will replace Anant Maheshwari who, according to LinkedIn, has been with Microsoft for seven years. Maheshwari said on Tuesday he will move to "a different industry, a new geography and a broader role." He offered no further detail on his next gig.

According to local media reports, Chandok resigned from the cloud colossus unexpectedly in June – just weeks after AWS committed to investing $12.7 billion in India's cloud computing infrastructure.

Although Chandok's resignation wasn't made official until August 31, the head of AWS's enterprise, mid-market and global businesses division, Vaishali Kasture, has been serving in the regional role while the cloud champ decided who would get the gig full time.

The Reg reached out to Chandok to find out what he was doing with what looks like a 60-day gardening leave, and will follow up if there's a reply.

"I have the front row seat to the largest technology shift of our lifetime – Cloud. As the MD for the AWS business in India and South Asia, I get to work with Enterprises, Digital Businesses, Startups and SMBs to help them reduce technical debt, bring in agility, and innovate like never before," reads Chandok's current LinkedIn regarding the four years he spent at AWS.

Around the same time news broke of Chandok's departure, AWS also abruptly lost Chris Vonderhaar – its head of datacenter design, planning, construction and operation – after 13 years at the firm. According to media reports, AWS kept mum about Vonderhaar's exit too – not even bothering to tell his colleagues.

Vonderhaar has since found employment at Google Cloud.

Amazon and Google presently have two cloud regions each in India, while Microsoft has three. Analyst firm IDC has estimated that the subcontinent's public cloud services market will grow at 23.4 percent CAGR between 2022 and 2027. ®

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