How Amazon’s next CEO Andy Jassy was “brain double” for Jeff Bezos

Seattle — In 2002, Amazon’s young executive Andy Jassy began close shadowing. Jeff Bezos, Founder of online bookstore.

Mr. Jasie followed Bezos everywhere, including the board of directors, and answered the phone, said Anne Hyatt, Bezos’ secretary from 2002 to 2005. Let Bezos be “double-minded” so that he can disagree with his boss’s ideas and predict questions.

“I thought I had a very high standard before I started the job,” said Jassy. Podcast interview Last fall, Mr. Bezos had a period of about 18 months. “Then, by doing that shadow job, I realized that my standards weren’t high enough.”

Today, Jasie, who has learned more than 20 years from Bezos, is responsible for moving the Bezos way forward.This summer, 53-year-old Amazon CEO Bezos, 57, stands aside Became chairman.

Few successors to the company Often seen.. Mr. Jasie needs to fly the Amazon. With 1.3 million employees, Amazon has grown into a $ 1.7 trillion company with global e-commerce, logistics, cloud computing, entertainment and device businesses. Shareholders.

Amazon, which is riding the wave of growth, also faces ever-increasing challenges. In Europe and the United States, the Seattle-based company is being monitored by regulators and lawmakers for its power. Our workforce is becoming more and more vocal and we are more willing to do business with the company. And because of its size, some investors and employees are wondering if Amazon can maintain an innovative way without suffering from bureaucracy.

Mr. Jasie hasn’t spoken publicly about his vision for Amazon, but those who know him say it’s clear that he will continue what Bezos built and then not make a sharp break. I did. A microcosm of Amazon consumers, Jasie helped devise and disseminate much of the company’s mechanics and in-house culture.

“Andy is a big part of the culture, and I really think it’s going to be a strong continuation,” said Tom Alberg, managing partner of the Madrona Venture Group and director of Amazon until 2019. ..

Amazon refused to make Mr Jasie available for the Email “He will be an outstanding leader, and he has full confidence in me,” Bezos told employees who announced the transition on Tuesday.

Jasie grew up in Scarsdale, New York, in the middle of three children. His father led a law firm in white shoes, and his mother ran a house in support of an arts organization. He majored in government at Harvard University and worked in the business side of the student newspaper The Harvard Crimson.

Jasie wanted to be a sportscaster, but after graduating she became direct marketing. He also tried to start a business with a colleague before attending Harvard Business School.

In 1997, he received an interview call while heading to Amazon. Shawn Colvin Concert In New York City. He got a job, took the final graduate exam on Friday, and started on Amazon the following Monday, three weeks before the company went public, he said in a podcast interview.

After playing the role of marketing and music in 2002, Mr. Bezos was used by Mr. Bezos as his “shadow”, acting like the Chief of Staff of a promising leader.

“His job was to become Jeff’s intellectual sparring partner,” said Hyatt, a former executive assistant to Jeff Bezos, who is now an executive consultant. She said Jasie helped Bezos discuss the benefits of offering membership in the Prime Expressway program to persuade the skeptical committee.

When Jassy followed Bezos, he also led the move to Amazon’s new field of cloud computing. At the time, Bezos was frustrated by Amazon’s software development team. Amazon’s software development team was taking longer than expected to complete the project, even though it hired many new engineers to deploy the product faster. He asked Mr. Jasie to underlie it.

Jassy found that the product team spends more time designing and building their own infrastructure than developing the product. Amazon eventually decided to reconfigure its technology system to allow different groups to share the same basic technology building blocks.

In 2003, Mr. Jasie and other executives gathered at Mr. Bezos’s house. They said it smelled of a business opportunity to help other companies solve the same problems that Amazon encountered.

But before proceeding with the project, Jassy had to present a “six-pager” (a narrative memo presenting a vision of a new idea) to Amazon’s board of directors to explain the resources needed.

“I was very nervous. I wrote 30 drafts of this treatise,” said Jasie. 2017 Lecture At the University of Washington.

He demanded 57, as Amazon employed about 5,000 at the time. This is a meaningful question. “I didn’t hit my eyelashes,” Bezos said.

The project is Amazon web services, Currently Amazon’s largest source of profit. Companies quickly embraced the concept of paying Amazon only for the computers and storage they used, instead of investing heavily in buying, building, and maintaining their computer systems.

By 2012, Jassy said Amazon’s cloud unit Grow very fast In 2003, the approximate number of computers per day needed to run the entire company was added.

Amazon Web Services, known as AWS, operated like an in-house start-up. According to current and former employees, Mr. Jasie has built a reputation for being tough, but has not yelled or undercut the staff. At the meeting, he asked the question pointed out, but when he incorporated their argument, he sat down and let others make it public.

According to current and former employees, Jassy responded to the good news by emailing him with a seemingly random number of exclamation marks, saying “Like”. Many argued whether the number of exclamation marks had a secret meaning.

Mr. Jasie also took the time to work on the staff. He mastered the ritual at the annual Buffalo Wing Meal, known as the Tatonka Bowl. He gave the participants a “badge”. The badge was fiery chicken and appeared in Amazon’s internal directory.

In recent years, AWS has developed its own software services that run on its own machines, often at stake for start-ups using competing products.

The Duckville Group’s Corey Inn said,Last week on AWS“. The cloud computing unit has been relentless in pursuing new products and markets, similar to Amazon’s major retail sites.

“They seem to share a common belief that the impossible is a matter of time,” he said.

Last year, AWS sales increased to $ 45.4 billion. That’s 12% of the company’s revenue and 63% of its profit.

After assuming the post of Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jasie’s opinion will be further scrutinized. Earlier last year, he enthusiastically talked about selling Rekognition, a police station, Amazon’s facial recognition technology, which has been criticized for prejudice against dark-skinned people.

“Let’s see” if the police station somehow “abuses technology” He told the PBS program “Forefront” During February. “They aren’t doing that. Assuming they’re going to do that and therefore shouldn’t allow access to the most sophisticated technology out there, the right balance for me It doesn’t feel like that. “

“We can’t let go of Breona Taylor’s death without accountability,” wrote Jasie. 6-part thread About the police in September on Twitter. “Not yet available in the United States. If we don’t hold the police station responsible for killing blacks, we won’t get justice and change, and we won’t be the country we aim for (and claim). “

At the AWS conference in December, Jassy gave a glimpse of how to acquire one of the wealthiest tech companies in the world. Jasie responded to Bezos, who has long supported how companies need to continue to evolve, and the key to long-term survival is to reform themselves while the company is on track. Said that.

After that, Jasie made an eight-step plan for corporate reform, emphasizing the importance of being “maniac, relentless and tenacious.”

“We need the courage to raise the company and force them to change and move,” he said.

David Stritefeld Contribution report.

How Amazon’s next CEO Andy Jassy was “brain double” for Jeff Bezos

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