Werner Vogels

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Werner Vogels
File:Wernervogels ddp.jpg
Werner Vogels VP and CTO of Amazon.com
Born (1958-10-03) 3 October 1958 (age 60)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Residence Seattle, Washington
Nationality Dutch
Fields Distributed computing
Institutions Cornell University
Vrije Universiteit
Alma mater Vrije Universiteit
Thesis Scalable Cluster Technologies for Mission Critical Enterprise Computing (2003)
Doctoral advisor Henri Bal
Andy Tanenbaum[1]
Known for Amazon Web Services

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.[2][3]


Vogels received a Ph.D. in computer science from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands supervised by Henri Bal and Andy Tanenbaum.[1]


Werner Vogels at AWS Summit 2013 - NYC

From 1991 through 1994, he was a senior researcher at INESC in Porto, Portugal.[4]

From 1994 until 2004, Dr. 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.[5][6][7][8][9]

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.[10] From 1999 through 2002, he held vice president and chief technology officer positions with the company.[11]

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",[12] 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,[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] In an accompanying interview Vogels provides some details of the history of his work at Amazon.[16]

Other awards include the 2009 Media Momentum Personality of the Year Award.[17] In 2010 readers of ReadWriteWeb voted on the "Cloud's Most Influential Executive" and selected Vogels with a double digit margin.[18]

Dr. Vogels was named a TechTarget Top 10 Cloud Computing Leader in 2010,[19] 2011,[20] and 2012,[21] and led the 2012 list of Wired's Top 10 Cloud Influencers and Thought Leaders.[22]

On June 20, 2014, Dr. 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 Dr. Vogels delivered a lecture "Amazon Innovation - Enabling Everyone to Pursue their Dreams" in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.[23]

In 2014 ExecRank ranked Dr. Vogels as the #1 Chief Technology Officer.[24]

Private life

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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vogels, Werner (2003). Scalable Cluster Technologies for Mission Critical Enterprise Computing (PhD thesis). Vrije Universiteit. 
  2. O'Hanlon, C. (2006). "A conversation with Werner Vogels". Queue. 4 (4): 14. doi:10.1145/1142055.1142065. 
  3. Canny, J. (2006). "The Future of Human-Computer Interaction". Queue. ACM. 4 (6): 24–32. doi:10.1145/1147518.1147530. 
  4. Jennifer L. Schenker (15 Sep 2014). "Q&A With Amazon’s Werner Vogels". informilo.com. Retrieved 3 Feb 2015. 
  5. Van Renesse, R.; Birman, K. P.; Vogels, W. (2003). "Astrolabe". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems. 21 (2): 164. doi:10.1145/762483.762485. 
  6. Von Eicken, T.; Basu, A.; Buch, V.; Vogels, W. (1995). "U-Net". ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review. 29 (5): 40. doi:10.1145/224057.224061. 
  7. Werner Vogels's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  8. List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  9. Vogels, W. (2003). "Web services are not distributed objects". IEEE Internet Computing. 7 (6): 59–66. doi:10.1109/MIC.2003.1250585. 
  10. "Patent US 6724770 B1". google.com/patents. Retrieved 3 Feb 2015. 
  11. "Robbert van Renesse: Resume". cornell.edu. Retrieved 3 Feb 2015. 
  12. http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/ All Things Distributed
  13. Decandia, G.; Hastorun, D.; Jampani, M.; Kakulapati, G.; Lakshman, A.; Pilchin, A.; Sivasubramanian, S.; Vosshall, P.; Vogels, W. (2007). "Dynamo". Proceedings of twenty-first ACM SIGOPS symposium on Operating systems principles - SOSP '07. p. 205. ISBN 9781595935915. doi:10.1145/1294261.1294281. 
  14. Vogels, W. (2009). "Eventually consistent". Communications of the ACM. 52: 40. doi:10.1145/1435417.1435432. 
  15. Chief of the Year; Amazon CTO Werner Vogels
  16. Q&A: Amazon CTO Werner Vogels
  17. "Europe’s fastest growing digital media companies 2009" (PDF). Media Momentum. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  18. Williams, Alex. "Weekly Poll: Who is the Cloud's Most Influential Executive?". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  19. Top 10 Cloud Computing Leaders of 2010
  20. Top 10 Cloud Computing Leaders of 2011
  21. Top 10 Cloud Computing Leaders of 2012
  22. http://www.wired.com/insights/2012/05/top-10-cloud-influencers
  23. http://dc.the-netherlands.org/news/2014/06/holland-on-the-hill-award-and-lecture.html
  24. http://execrank.com/2014-rankings/2014-top-chief-technology-officer-rankings Exec Rank 2014 Top Chief Technology Officers

External links