Farewell AWS & Amazon Family

Shai Perednik
5 min readApr 30, 2023

Dear AWS and Amazon family, and my broader network of connections formed during my 6 years at Amazon.

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

I write this farewell letter and reflect on my incredible journey at AWS over the past six years. Expressing the depth of gratitude and appreciation I feel is truly challenging. I’ve worked with so many amazing people at AWS, Amazon, Partners, Customers, and everything in between. People who have consistently raised the bar, pushed me to overcome challenges, and inspired me to never accept “no” or “it’s not possible” as answers.

This month marks my first anniversary as the Tech Leader for Web3 and Blockchain at AWS and the incredible opportunity I had to lead the segment for the AWS Partner Organization. Coincidentally, May was my 6 yr anniversary at AWS as well. I had initially hoped to share my excitement for many more years in this role, looking forward to that 10yr red badge and a path to Sr Principal; instead, I find myself writing about the fantastic experiences I’ve had in the past tense, closing that chapter. I wasn’t ready for that. I lost my glasses that day too, and everything in front of me was a bit blurry, yet far away was clear.

I find myself in a mix of words and emotions. There’s sadness because I’m leaving family and friends. Like when you leave your cousin’s house as a kid and don’t know when you’re coming back. And there’s so much reach out from others and opportunities. I’m humbled and honored to know I served with nobility and inspired many! Over the past 6 yrs at AWS I’ve had the fortune of working with so many awesome people as I got involved in more and more at AWS. I started off getting my speaker certification so I can present publicly, then became a hiring bar raiser, then an inclusion and diversity ambassador, and even got opportunities to develop my voice acting.

Over the last two and a half to three years specifically , I have sown many seeds in the Web3 and Blockchain space at AWS, and I am confident that these efforts will continue to bear fruit long after my departure. Amazon operates decentralized and distributed with the 2 pizza team model and day1 approach. Those seeds I planted many years ago when I started building the internal community are now spreading their roots and sprouting many more trees. Those sprouts are in incredible hands that will undoubtedly continue to lead innovation, defining the next generation of the internet. This will happen, and I’m confident of that because of the dedicated and distributed teams that work tirelessly to drive innovation at the edge forward.

I am incredibly grateful for the partnerships we forged with the Web3 and Blockchain ecosystem. Your passion, resilience, and commitment to building a better world amid uncertainty, financial scrutiny, and regulatory ambiguity have been truly inspiring. I am honored and privileged to have been a part of your journey. I will continue to support and cheer you on as you drive innovation and change the world for the better. Remember, we build a better world when we #buildtogether.

As I take the next three to four weeks to reflect and chart my course, I am reminded of the countless peers and colleagues I have worked alongside. Your support and camaraderie have been invaluable, and I am humbled by the feedback I have received about the impact I’ve had as a role model at AWS and Amazon. I extend my deepest thanks to each of you for helping me achieve this despite the mental health challenges I’ve faced and the uphill battles we’ve conquered together.

Please leave a LinkedIn recommendation not just for me but for every other Amazonian whose role was eliminated. Leave a mark on their resume and forge your appreciation for them into their Legacy! Let your words be the foundation, gust of wind, and wings that blast them forward!

Over the next 8 weeks, I will be listening to the universe, reading, writing, mind mapping, spending time with family, and refocusing my life priorities. I’ve earned this break and It’s time to relax before I make any decisions about my next move. Want to chat about personal stuff? I’ve set aside hours at https://calendly.com/shaiss.

Regarding the recent layoffs and my role: I understand that my role and others were eliminated as part of a broader cut in response to the current economic climate. This is a necessary business decision, and I recognize that AWS and Amazon must prioritize investments that generate immediate revenue now. Nonetheless, I am aware of how painful this may be. But I urge all my colleagues to remember a few things.

First, your role was eliminated. You were not fired, let go, canned, or booted. That’s the fact of it. It’s not you. Put another name in that seat, and it would have happened to them too.

Two, you are now part of a highly talented and high-value talent pool of free agents. The world is yours to choose from, and any organization would immediately be accelerated by your bar-raising attributes. Why? Because with every hire, the bar gets higher, and you compete with an average of ~200 others for your role.

Third, and related to that note. Some of you worry that you were only there for a short time. Well, this is a 3d game of chess, but the short of it is, you are as equally valuable and actually more. Think of it this way, I was there for 6yrs constantly raising the bar alongside my peers. You came in because we identified you raised the current bar. So point two above again. That bar only kept getting higher and higher with every higher!

Embarking on this new chapter in my career, I will forever hold the memories and experiences, friendships, and family I forged during my time at AWS and Amazon. Thank you all for the incredible support, inspiration, and collaboration. I wish you all the very best, and I will be in the watch tower with fellow elephants, keeping sight of those amazing things you will accomplish in the future!

And remember my glasses? The following morning, they were neatly folded underneath my back when I woke up. So now I can see up close and am ready for the next rocket ship! But first, I’m taking time with my family. So go ahead and blow up my inbox while I play with my wife and kids. They come first!

With heartfelt gratitude,

Shai Perednik