The long-time Amazon executive is set to replace founder Jeff Bezos.
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Amazon.com’s new chief executive, Andy Jassy, set to replace founder Jeff Bezos, is a long-time Amazon executive who has worked at the company since 1997.
Mr. Jassy, who joined Amazon after graduating from Harvard Business School, worked as a technical assistant for Mr. Bezos in the early 2000s and was instrumental in leading the company’s push outside of book sales.
Mr. Jassy has overseen the company’s fast-growing cloud computing business, and says the key to long-term success is reinvention.
“You want to be reinventing when you are healthy, you want to be reinventing all the time,” Mr. Jassy, 53, said in December at a company forum. “You have got to be maniacal and relentless and tenacious about getting to the truth…. You have to know what’s working and what’s not working.”
He cited Netflix’s decision to cannibalise its own DVD rental business in favour of streaming.
The focus on the future is fitting given Mr. Jassy’s career is defined by his leading Amazon into a wholly new market: cloud computing. Amazon Web Services rents space and software programming for customers to run their technical operations on the company’s servers. The arm now fuels Amazon’s profits and dominates the cloud market just as the company leads the world of e-commerce.
At the same speech in December, Mr. Jassy noted just 83 of the Fortune 500 companies from 1970 are still on the list — and only half are on the list from 2000.
“It’s really hard to build a business that sustains for along period of time,” Mr. Jassy said, adding, to stay on the list, he said, “you are going to have to reinvent yourself” and often more than once.
He said the pandemic has boosted the shift to the cloud.
“When you look back on the history of the cloud it will turnout the pandemic accelerated cloud adoption by several years,” Mr. Jassy said.
One of his big challenges has been navigating the loss of a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract to Microsoft and Mr. Jassy did not mince words when going after former President Donald Trump for unfairly influencing the process.
Outside of Amazon, Mr. Jassy is an avid sports fan. Mr. Jassy is part-owner of the new Seattle National Hockey League franchise, the Kraken, which will join the league in the 2021-2022 season.
Here are a few facts about the incoming CEO
- Mr. Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 and has a MBA from Harvard Business School.
- “I took my last final exam at HBS, the first Friday of May in 1997 and I started Amazon next Monday,” Mr. Jassy said in a Harvard Business School podcast in September. “No, I didn’t know what my job was going to be, or what my title was going to be. It was super important to the Amazon people that we come that Monday.”
- Mr. Jassy is married to Elana Rochelle Caplan and is the father of two children. He is also a self-proclaimed sports and music fan.
- In 2006, Mr. Jassy founded Amazon’s AWS, Amazon’s cloud service platform used by millions of businesses across the world. The service competes with Microsoft Corp’s Azure and Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud.
- Mr. Jassy has occasionally spoken out on social issues, tweeting about the need for police accountability after Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, was slain in her home by white policemen during a botched raid, and in favour of LGBTQ rights.