“Absolutely a Sprint”: How Andy Jassy Raced to the Top of Amazon
Article

“Absolutely a Sprint”: How Andy Jassy Raced to the Top of Amazon

The incoming CEO inherits a company on a post-pandemic roll, but roiled by labor unrest and under mounting regulatory scrutiny

Editorial Rating

8

Qualities

  • Overview
  • Background
  • Concrete Examples

Recommendation

Andy Jassy, Amazon’s new CEO, literally “shadowed” founder Jeff Bezos for 18 months early in his career. He was one of the few people willing to contradict the founder when necessary, although he did it with respect and kindness. Jassy didn’t provide an interview for Bloomberg News tech reporter Matt Day, who instead interviewed people surrounding him. Jassy isn’t well known outside his industry, but his work is. He managed the growth of Amazon’s Web Services, which hit $50 billion-plus revenue in 2020. While Amazon faces litigation on global, national and local fronts, Jassy – like Bezos – takes a long-term view of the company and solutions to its issues.

Summary

Andy Jassy, Amazon’s new CEO, though similar to Jeff Bezos, but will put his own imprint on the company.

At last year’s Amazon, Inc. corporate meeting, keynote speaker and new CEO Andy Jassy began by discussing the problem of racism in the United States, not the wonders of corporate software. Jassy, 53, is as competitive as Jeff Bezos, but he engages more with social issues and the culture at large.

Jassy, who became CEO on July 5, 2021, can target an issue and ask pointed questions, while appearing humble and interacting easily with staff members. Though Jeff Bezos remains executive chairman of the board, Jassy is taking on maintaining Amazon’s pace of innovation, dealing with global questions of regulation and improving employee relations.

Amazon’s ethos continues to prioritize consumers, speed and frugality. However, its current leadership principles encourage managers to manifest empathy and make decisions with employees and social needs...

About the Author

Matt Day is a technology reporter for Bloomberg News.


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