Numerous stories have popped up, nor surprisingly, profiling the incoming CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy, who will succeed Jeff Bezos in the role later this year. Here are some excerpts…
• From the New York Times:
"Few corporate successions will be watched as closely. Mr. Jassy must steer Amazon — which has mushroomed into a $1.7 trillion company with 1.3 million employees and worldwide operations in e-commerce, logistics, cloud computing, entertainment and devices — while under the watchful eye of Mr. Bezos, who remains the biggest shareholder.
"Amazon, which has been riding a wave of growth, also faces mounting challenges. In Europe and the United States, the Seattle-based company is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers for its power. Its own work force has become increasingly vocal and active in dealing with the company. And with its sheer size, some investors and employees wonder whether Amazon can maintain its innovative ways without bureaucracy bogging it down.
"Mr. Jassy has not spoken publicly about his vision for Amazon, but those who know him said what was clear was that he would continue what Mr. Bezos had built - and not make a sharp break from it. The epitome of an Amazon lifer, Mr. Jassy helped conceive and proselytize many of the company’s mechanisms and internal culture."
The Times goes on:
"At an AWS conference in December, Mr. Jassy offered a glimpse of how he might approach taking over one of the world’s richest tech companies. Echoing Mr. Bezos, who has long espoused how companies need to keep evolving, Mr. Jassy said the key to long-term survival was for companies to reinvent themselves while the going was good.
"Mr. Jassy then laid out an eight-step plan for corporate reinvention and stressed the importance of being 'maniacal, relentless and tenacious.'
"'You have to have the courage to pull the company up and force them to change and move,' he said."
• From Fast Company:
"Since 2003, Jassy has devoted his full attention to web services. That might seem far afield from Amazon’s iconic success as a storefront for physical goods of every imaginable sort. But early in his Amazon career, Jassy was responsible for selling stuff to consumers. Back in 2001, when he was the company’s product director for music, he spoke with Billboard about a special promotion tied into a Ken Burns PBS series about the history of jazz. 'There are few people who are uniquely positioned to sell the CDs, the video and DVD boxed sets, and the book as well as us,' he said. Once again, he will be responsible for selling media - even if it’s more likely to be streamed than shipped in boxes - as well as every other item that Amazon would like to sell to us."
Fast Company also notes that Jassy believes in "sweating the details," that while "groups within AWS have plenty of independence," he believes that "effective management is in part about knowing what’s going on at every level of the organization."
"One of the mistakes that leaders make sometimes is that they get too far away from the details of the business,” he said. “And the reality is that every business is always going to have things that work and things that are not working. And that’s okay. You can fix the things that aren’t working, as long as you have visibility to them. And you can course-correct relatively quickly. But if you get so far away from the details and you don’t have the right mechanisms to inspect what’s happening, finding out about issues that are 6 to 12 months in the making makes it much harder to correct them, because the hole is deeper.”