Amazon hosted New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday at its Seattle headquarters, where she met with Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky.
As part of a U.S. tour that also included a reception with Microsoft executives in Seattle and a visit on Tuesday with President Joe Biden, Ardern spent time inside Amazon’s plant-filled Spheres building and also spoke with Selipsky.
“We had a great discussion about digital transformation, skills development, sustainability, and how we are helping organizations across Aotearoa, New Zealand scale and grow internationally,” Selipsky wrote on LinkedIn.
Amazon announced last year that it would spend more than $5 billion over 15 years on data centers in New Zealand, where it will launch a new AWS Region. The cloud arm has been active in New Zealand since 2014. Its local customers include Air NZ, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, University of Auckland, and more.
Amazon’s profitable cloud business continues to help Amazon’s bottom line; it reported $14.8 billion in revenue for the second quarter, up 37% year-over-year, and operating income of $4.2 billion.
Selipsky, the former Tableau CEO, returned to AWS last year as its CEO after former AWS chief Andy Jassy was named to succeed Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO.
Ardern, who spoke at Harvard’s commencement on Thursday, also visited with Microsoft executives including Microsoft President Brad Smith on her visit to Seattle.
Microsoft recently announced a new partnership with the country, and is also building data centers in New Zealand.
Other tech and startup leaders from New Zealand joined Ardern on her visit to Seattle, including Sam Kidd, CEO of LawVu, which recently announced a new Seattle office.
“I’m excited about continuing our investment here in Seattle,” Kidd wrote in a LinkedIn post about his time in the Emerald City. “The unapologetic mindset people have here around building and growing a company is both exciting and refreshing. To have local founded companies the likes of Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon and Starbucks is incredible. There is literally something in the coffee here.”
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