Werner Vogels

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Werner Vogels
Wernervogels ddp.jpg
Werner Vogels in 2008 in Amsterdam
Born Werner Hans Peter Vogels
(1958-10-03) 3 October 1958 (age 59)
Ermelo, Netherlands[1]
Residence Seattle, Washington
Nationality Dutch
Alma mater Vrije Universiteit
The Hague University of Applied Sciences
Known for Amazon Web Services
Spouse(s) Annet Vogels
Children Laura Vogels
Kim Vogels
Website twitter.com/Werner
Scientific career
Fields Distributed computing
Institutions Cornell University
Vrije Universiteit
Thesis Scalable Cluster Technologies for Mission Critical Enterprise Computing (2003)
Doctoral advisor Henri Bal
Andy Tanenbaum[1]

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 studied computer science at The Hague University of Applied Sciences finishing in June 1989.[4][5]

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


Werner Vogels at AWS Summit 2013 - NYC

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.[6] After completing his studies he pursued a career in computer science research.

From 1991 through 1994, Vogels was a senior researcher at INESC in Porto, Portugal.[7] He worked with Prof. Paulo Verissimo and Luis Rodriguez on distributed systems support for factory floor automation in EC projects such as Delta-4.[8] 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.[9][10][11][12][13]

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.[14] From 1999 through 2002, he held vice president and chief technology officer positions with the company.[15]

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",[16] 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,[17] 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.[18]

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.


  • 2008: Information Week recognized Vogels for educational and promotional role in cloud computing with the 2008 CIO/CTO of the Year award.[19]
  • 2009: Media Momentum Personality of the Year Award.[20]
  • 2010:
    • ReadWriteWeb voted on the "Cloud's Most Influential Executive" and selected Vogels with a double digit margin.[21]
    • Vogels was named a TechTarget Top 10 Cloud Computing Leader in 2010,[22] 2011,[23] and 2012,[24]
  • 2012: Led the list of Wired's Top 10 Cloud Influencers and Thought Leaders.[25]
  • 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".[26]
    • ExecRank ranked Vogels as the #1 Chief Technology Officer.[27]

Private life[edit]

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. ^ a b c 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. ^ Mygind, Dan (November 3, 2006). "Fra forsker til CTO hos Amazon". computerworld.dk (in Danish). Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ Vogels, Werner (October 4, 1990). "Experienced Unix/Mach System software Engineer/Manager (EUROPE)". Newsgroupmisc.jobs.resumes. Usenet: 782@nikhefk.UUCP. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Seedcamp Podcast: 100th guest special with Werner Vogels, CTO & VP of Amazon". November 10, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  7. ^ Jennifer L. Schenker (15 September 2014). "Q&A With Amazon's Werner Vogels". informilo.com. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "DELTA-4 - Definition and Design of an Open Dependable Distributed Computer System Architecture". January 2, 1992. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  9. ^ Van Renesse, R.; Birman, K. P.; Vogels, W. (2003). "Astrolabe". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems. 21 (2): 164. doi:10.1145/762483.762485. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Werner Vogels at DBLP Bibliography Server
  12. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  13. ^ Vogels, W. (2003). "Web services are not distributed objects". IEEE Internet Computing. 7 (6): 59–66. doi:10.1109/MIC.2003.1250585. 
  14. ^ "Patent US 6724770 B1". google.com/patents. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Robbert van Renesse: Resume". cornell.edu. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  16. ^ http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/ All Things Distributed
  17. ^ 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. doi:10.1145/1294261.1294281. ISBN 9781595935915. 
  18. ^ Vogels, W. (2009). "Eventually consistent". Communications of the ACM. 52: 40. doi:10.1145/1435417.1435432. 
  19. ^ Chief of the Year; Amazon CTO Werner Vogels
  20. ^ "Europe's fastest growing digital media companies 2009" (PDF). Media Momentum. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Williams, Alex. "Weekly Poll: Who is the Cloud's Most Influential Executive?". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  22. ^ Top 10 Cloud Computing Leaders of 2010
  23. ^ Top 10 Cloud Computing Leaders of 2011
  24. ^ Top 10 Cloud Computing Leaders of 2012
  25. ^ https://www.wired.com/insights/2012/05/top-10-cloud-influencers
  26. ^ http://dc.the-netherlands.org/news/2014/06/holland-on-the-hill-award-and-lecture.html
  27. ^ http://execrank.com/2014-rankings/2014-top-chief-technology-officer-rankings Exec Rank 2014 Top Chief Technology Officers

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