Bill Vass

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Bill Vass

William (Bill) John Vass is the Vice President of Engineering at Amazon Web Services.[1] He joined Amazon in September 2014, bringing a background in cyber-security, internet-of-things, robotics and Information Technology.[2]

Before joining Amazon Web Services, Bill Vass was President and Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Robotics, a startup company that developed a new type of unmanned autonomous robotic marine vehicle.[3] Drawing all of its energy from the environment, the Wave Glider platform attempts to revolutionize[neutrality is disputed] ocean monitoring, data collection and communications.[4] He is married to Shari Steele, former Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation,[5][6] currently Executive Director of the Tor Project.[7]

Prior to Liquid Robotics, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Microsystems Federal (a Sun Microsystems subsidiary focusing on business with government organizations). He held numerous positions during his more than 10 years at Sun, including Vice-President of Corporate Software Services, Chief Security Officer for Sun IT, and Chief Information Officer (CIO). His background has a significant[neutrality is disputed] military and government presence, including a stint as an oversight CIO working underneath the Department of Defense's overall CIO. Before that, he was the Chief Technical Officer and Technical Lead for the U.S. Army's personnel systems.

Vass is a proponent[neutrality is disputed] of corporate executives writing a blog, stating [8] in August 2005 that blogging "allows them to communicate in an unfiltered way." He is also supportive of [9] the open source and Linux communities, having utilized both throughout his career.

Vass's grandfather was Captain William H. John, the captain of the SS Contessa, a World War II hero from the Battle of Port Lyautey in November 1942. Vass was named after Captain John. The story of the battle and the role of Captain John is detailed in the book "Twelve Desperate Miles, the Epic WWII Voyage of the SS Contessa", by Tim Brady, 2012, Crown Publishing Group.

His great grandfather was Matthew Fontaine Maury, often considered the father of oceanography.[by whom?]


  1. ^ Amazon Hires Robotics Executive Vass for Web Services by Jack Clark & Spencer Soper, Bloomberg News, September 10, 2014, accessed on June 12, 2015
  2. ^ Amazon Recruits Tech Guru Vass to Drive Cloud Performance by Chris Talbot, Talkin' Cloud, September 12, 2014, accessed on June 12, 2015
  3. ^ "VantagePoint leads $22 mln round for Liquid Robotics" by Sarah McBride (June 7, 2011), accessed on June 12, 2015
  4. ^ "Wave-Powered Robots to Monitor the Oceans" by Katie Fehrenbacher (June 7, 2011). Accessed on July 9, 2011
  5. ^ "Meet My Wife...Shari Steele" by Bill Vass (March 27, 2008). Wayback Machine: Accessed on August 13, 2012
  6. ^ Olen, Helaine; Kiri Blakeley; Jenna Goudreau (27 April 2009). "My Turn, Your Turn". Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Tor Project Retrieved 15 December 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Corporate Blogging and the CIO", by Rochelle Shaw (August 2005). Accessed on September 9, 2005
  9. ^ "Riding Open Source To CIO Spot", by Charles Babcock (August 2004). Accessed on September 9, 2005