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Meet new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy: Blend of wit, humour and customers-first approach

An old-timer at Amazon, Andy Jassy is also known for his wit and humour. He apparently does not think twice before taking a pot shot at competitors.

February 03, 2021 / 07:59 PM IST

It is soon going to be Day 1 for 53-year old Andy Jassy at global online retail giant Amazon as its chief executive as CEO and founder Jeff Bezos decides to move to the executive chair position.

Popularly known for having a customers-first approach, Jassy is not a frequent visitor to India, one of Amazon's biggest markets outside the US. However he is often seen communicating and taking direct reviews from the company's India customers online.

"There are a lot of opportunities where Andy talks to the customers directly given that customers are our focus. It happens quite regularly. That's like a given," said a person privy to the development requesting anonymity.

An old-timer at Amazon, Andy Jassy is also known for his wit and humour. He apparently does not think twice before taking a pot shot at competitors.

In 2019, he publicly took a jab at rivals IBM and Oracle, by presenting a slide of a moving truck with Amazon Prime boxes inside. This at a time when a box labeled Oracle and an IBM mainframe were left behind in the driveway of the house. The idea was to show that customers need to move ahead.


On multiple other occasions, Jassy has not shied away from engaging in war of words with Oracle executives.

"Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence," said Bezos in an email sent to the employees.

AWS is working with a lot of emerging businesses in India such as Grofers, Mobile Premier League, Snapdeal, Pepperfry besides large conglomerates and government bodies.

Currently the CEO at Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon subsidiary which provides on-demand computing platforms to clients, Jassy joined Amazon soon after finishing his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School in 1997 as a marketing manager. He climbed up his ladder and soon founded Amazon Web Services in 2003 only to become its CEO in 2016.

A sports fan, Jassy owns a minority stake in Seattle Kraken of the National Hockey League.

The question is will things change for the world's leading e-commerce company post the change of hands? Not many think so.

"These businesses are at a level where things are at an auto-pilot mode. The only thing that starts to matter is a person's ability to keep the flock together," said an Indian venture capital firm's manager requesting anonymity.

Bezos will move to the executive chair of the Amazon Board in the third quarter of 2021 where he will focus on new products and early initiatives.

The development happens at a time when Indian government is considering revising its foreign investment rules for e-commerce. Global e-tailers like Amazon are long accused of circumventing Indian laws which bar foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce companies selling their own products. India only allows marketplace models to attract foreign direct investment.
Priyanka Sahay
first published: Feb 3, 2021 12:50 pm
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