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Amazon adds former National Security Agency director to board after JEDI fight

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Key Points
  • Amazon on Wednesday named former National Security Agency director Keith Alexander to its board of directors. 
  • Alexander, a retired four-star Army general, served as NSA director from 2005 to 2014 and was commander of the U.S. Cyber Command from 2010 to 2014.
  • It comes as Amazon remains locked in a battle with Microsoft over the JEDI, or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, cloud contract. 
Keith Alexander, former director of the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA).
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon announced on Wednesday that Keith Alexander, a former National Security Agency director, has been named to the company's board of directors. 

Alexander will bring considerable national security and cybersecurity experience to Amazon's 11-person board. Alexander, a four-star Army general, previously served as NSA director and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. He's now co-CEO and president of IronNet Cybersecurity. 

Alexander's appointment comes at a critical time for Amazon. The company remains locked in a battle with Microsoft over the JEDI, or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, cloud contract. The JEDI contract has become one of the most hotly contested contracts for the Department of Defense, as it's meant to help modernize the Pentagon's IT infrastructure and could be worth up to $10 billion for services rendered over as many as 10 years.

Last week, the Pentagon said it would stick with its decision to award Microsoft the contract, following its extensive re-evaluation of JEDI cloud proposals. Amazon said in a scathing blog post that it would continue to seek a review of the situation. 

Amazon told CNBC in a statement that it selected Alexander because he is highly qualified, citing his public policy experience. The company stressed that Alexander's director role will not have any overlap with Amazon Web Services' management.

Amazon added that Alexander will continue to follow strict conflict of interest rules for government contracting in his duties as a board member. Alexander's company, IronNet, offers cybersecurity products that are certified for use by federal organizations and some of its employees have served in the armed forces or other federal positions, according to its website

Alexander was awarded 288 shares of common stock as part of his appointment, which will vest in three equal annual installments beginning on Nov. 15, 2021. Amazon shares closed at $3,268.61 per share on Wednesday.

Here's the full list of Amazon's board of directors

  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO and Chairman)
  • Rosalind Brewer (COO of Starbucks)
  • Jamie Gorelick (Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General and vice chair of Fannie Mae)
  • Daniel Huttenlocher (Founding Dean of Cornell Tech)
  • Judith McGrath (Former CEO of MTV Networks)
  • Indra Nooyi (Former CEO of Pepsi)
  • Jonathan Rubinstein (Former Apple executive and Palm CEO)
  • Thomas Ryder (Former CEO of The Reader's Digest Association)
  • Patricia Stonesifer (CEO of Martha's Table)
  • Wendell Weeks (CEO of Corning)
  • Keith Alexander (Former NSA director)

-- CNBC's Amanda Macias and Jordan Novet contributed to this article.

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