So I will be the first to admit it…my culinary skills aren’t the best and I doubt it’s my ability to craft the perfectly barbecued burger that leaves my guests looking forward to my next BBQ! Yes, serving food which doesn’t poison your guests is very important, but what generally makes the party one to remember is down to the people you invite.

Do you want a boozy BBQ with incomprehensible-to-anyone conversations or a dextrous display of show off, wannabe chefs? How about a middle ground? Wouldn’t it be great to invite someone who has inspired you, to drink with you and impart some of their wisdom while you enjoy some only partially burned burgers?

Well, if you invite Werner Vogels, you don’t just get a tech giant but also a singing, acting ensemble when his family come along too. His wife, Antoinetta Vogels, performed for the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra as a bassoonist - a woodwind instrument featuring in many classical compositions. His daughters, Laura and Kim are professional actresses and singers. You can imagine the family gatherings…you’d probably need to pre-book your tickets!

So what does Werner actually do? He made Amazon what it is today as the Chief Technology Officer & Vice President. He was one of the architects behind Amazon Web Services, now the biggest player in the Cloud Computing arena with around 40% of the market, with last year’s revenue exceeding $12bn.

Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s mostly B2B so you’re not meant to, unless you’re one of their clients - Netflix, the Guardian or Vodafone. If you’re thinking of getting on the bandwagon, you’re not the only one - ExecRank ranked him as the #1 Chief Technology Officer.

It would be fascinating to talk to Wener about the journey he has been on with Amazon over the past 10 years, and where he thinks we will be in another 10. Some of the technical services at Amazon have been going since the start (such as S3, EC2), but they are always evolving and introducing new services and technology. Some of their newest offerings Polly (text to speech) and Lex (a service for building conversational interfaces) are pulled directly from’s own product Alexa.

But now for the big question. Has he got the sense of humour needed to withstand some of the weird and wonderful chat your pals get caught up in after a few too many beers?  Maybe this tweet will answer your question:

Brilliant response! 

So to finish off, why bring Werner Vogels to your BBQ?

Possible musical entertainment? ✔

Interesting chats ✔

Wit ✔

Job prospects ✔



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