Amazon HQ2’s Ardine Williams retires — again
Williams led hiring efforts for HQ2 workers
Ardine Williams, vice president of HQ2 workforce development for Amazon.com Inc., has retired — again — Amazon confirmed this week.
Williams, who had been one of Amazon’s most high-profile Virginia executives, was leading the effort to hire 25,000 workers by 2030 for Amazon’s multibillion-dollar HQ2 East Coast headquarters in Arlington. So far, about 5,000 HQ2 workers have been hired, as of April.
Williams retired from Amazon within the past few weeks, and a replacement has not yet been named, an Amazon spokesperson told Virginia Business. She could not be immediately reached for comment.
The HQ2 executive went to work for Amazon in 2014 as vice president, Amazon Web Services, Global Talent Acquisition, after initially retiring from Intel Corp., where she had served as vice president of HR enterprise services.
In a January 2020 interview with Virginia Business, Williams described how Amazon lured her out of retirement just five months after she left Intel. First, she worked in recruiting for Amazon Web Services, then, in 2017, she became vice president, people operations, for Amazon’s global human resources. Following Amazon’s 2018 announcement that it would be building its East Coast headquarters in Virginia, Williams was named vice president of HQ2 workforce development.
From 2018 until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Williams often served as the public face of Amazon HQ2.
Undertaking a series of well-publicized listening tours around Virginia in 2019, she met with state and local officials, school superintendents, chambers of commerce, and other organizations. One of the tours took her through Southwest Virginia with then-Gov. Ralph Northam to promote workforce development. She also addressed a crowd of about 5,000 job seekers during a September 2019 career fair Amazon held in Arlington.
Before joining Amazon, Williams worked in multiple roles for Intel Corp. from 1997 to 2014. She also worked for Hewlett Packard and Behring Co.
Prior to that, she served in the U.S. Army, working technology jobs in the Signal Corps before being attached to DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). While at Amazon, she was recognized for her work supporting job recruitment for military veterans and their spouses.