Twitter hires Amazon cloud creator to keep site running smoothly

March 31, 2015 11:53 AM

(Bloomberg)—A creator of Inc.’s cloud- services operation has joined Twitter Inc. to help keep its website running smoothly.

Chris Pinkham started as a vice president of engineering at the social-media service in January.

San Francisco-based Twitter has been reworking its engineering department to help the company expand and release products more quickly. The company promoted Alex Roetter in May to be head of engineering with a mandate to improve the site’s performance. Twitter used to crash so often that it had a Fail Whale icon, an image of little birds attempting to lift a large cetacean, it could trot out with an apology to users when pages wouldn’t load.

Pinkham led cloud development at Oracle Corp. after the database company acquired his startup, Nimbula Inc., in 2013.

Before that, he worked at Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, where he conceived of and co-built the earliest incarnation of the Amazon Web Services elastic compute cloud, which provides customized computing capacity. Amazon Web Services is estimated to be a multibillion- dollar a year business for the Seattle-based company, which is due to start reporting sales for the operation at the end of April.

Amazon Web Services helped fuel the rise of the cloud-computing industry, with companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. developing similar products. The industry has challenged network-hardware vendors such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

At Twitter, Pinkham is seeking to hire “people who are interested in building some of the most important infrastructure on the planet,” according to his LinkedIn profile.




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