Amazon names former US NSA chief to its board
Amazon has appointed Keith Alexander, a former director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), to its board of directors.
He will serve in the audit committee of the board, Amazon revealed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
Alexander, who founded cybersecurity firm IronNet Cybersecurity in 2014, will bring significant security-related experience to Amazon’s board.
A retired four-star US Army general, Alexander served as the Commander of US Cyber Command from 2010 to 2014 and was Director of the NSA and Chief of the Central Security Service from 2005 to 2014.
He served as a director of CSRA, Inc., an information technology provider to the US government, from 2015 to 2018.
As part of his new appointment, Alexander was awarded 288 shares of common stock of Amazon, to vest in three equal annual installments beginning on November 15, 2021, assuming continued service as a director.
Amazon’s move comes at a time when the company is protesting the decision of the US Department of Defense (DoD) to award the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, Cloud computing contract to Microsoft.
After the DoD reaffirmed last week that Microsoft has won the decade-long contract, Amazon’s Cloud computing arm, called Amazon Web Services (AWS), said in a blog post that the DoD’s re-evaluation is “nothing more than an attempt to validate a flawed, biased, and politically corrupted decision.”
Amazon, however, said that Alexander’s director role will not have any overlap with AWS management, according to a CNBC report.
Alexander’s involvement in the widespread surveillance systems revealed by the Snowden leaks brought him into focus in the tech community, The Verge reported.
Those systems included PRISM, a code name for a programme under which the NSA collected user data from some Internet companies.