Michael Friberg for TIME

Moving computing into the cloud is one of the great functional transformations of technology in my lifetime. Andy Jassy, who led Amazon Web Services (AWS) since its inception in 2003, was a great leader in that transformation. With AWS, he built one of the world’s most successful businesses.

I’ve known Andy for 14 years, and have at different moments interacted with him as a competitor, a business partner, a supplier, a friend. I always come away impressed. Andy has incredible intellectual capacity and curiosity. He is completely invested in what he does.

There are similarities in our careers. I worked at Microsoft for years, and then took over for our founder Bill Gates. Andy spent decades at Amazon and then took over for Jeff Bezos as Amazon’s CEO and president last year. These are not easy transitions, but I cannot imagine a stronger, more talented person to lead that transition than Andy. The passion he feels about Amazon’s role in improving the environment and keeping its warehouse employees safe is inspiring. He will make amazing contributions.

Hats off to him for what he’s done at Amazon over the last two decades and what he will accomplish going forward—even if I’m rooting for Microsoft when the two companies compete.

Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO, is an investor and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers

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