Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is the definition of a company person. In an age where people change jobs frequently, he has been at Amazon for 25 years, working his way up to president and CEO. But before he reached the corner office, he helped build Amazon Web Services, its cloud division, into a $60 billion behemoth.
It wasn’t exactly a mailroom rise, but Jassi was there as an assistant to founder Jeff Bezos when came up with the idea for AWS in the early 2000s in an executive director’s office. He helped build it. He nurtured it. He made it the jewel in the company’s crown.
So when Bezos announced he was retiring early last year, it didn’t take long for the organization to turn to Jassy, whose hard work at AWS and deep understanding of the company’s culture seemed to make him the perfect heir apparent.
But things didn’t necessarily go as planned since he took over leadership role in July 2021. Much of what happened was beyond his control. Like many CEOs, he inherited the problems left by his predecessor.
During the pandemic, Amazon has become the world’s one-stop shop. People stranded turned to Amazon for their goods. The company’s revenue mushroomed and its workforce exploded, with the organization adding an astonishing 800,000 workers, mostly in its warehouses (at The Wall Street Journal). The future was bright, but when Jassy took over last year, people walked out again.
Suddenly, everyone isn’t buying everything online anymore. As 2022 approached, other macroeconomic factors began to affect commerce — online and physical — as inflation spiked and consumer spending power began to wane. Add to that the higher cost of energy and persistent supply chain issues, Amazon suddenly faced some challenges that began to seriously impact revenue.