New Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, sent out his first company-wide memo last week and it was very well received by those who have seen it.
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The memo could be seen as an attempt to bring confidence to shareholders and employees alike as Andy reaffirms that he will be continuing along the same clear path focusing on innovation and speed that Jeff Bezos started.
It also becomes apparent that Jassy plans to expand Bezos’ vision to focus not only on customers but also Amazon employees.
We have included the memo from Andy Jassy below for you to read yourself in which Jassy expressed his admiration for founder Jeff Bezos, reiterated his commitment to building innovative culture, and vowed to make Amazon “better every day.”
Amazon is currently under some pressure to maintain high stock performance, address worker-unionization efforts and reports of poor treatment, and deal with regulators that are circling and alleging unfair business practices. In the recent months Amazon has made some very public developments for employees in the form of various benefits. This was also a large talking point in Bezos’ final shareholder letter.
The memo from Andy Jassy has been dubbed a PR masterclass from experts across the world.
“If I were his PR, I would have told him to write exactly what he wrote.”Eric Yaverbaum, Fortune 500 CEO-Communications Consultant
Jassy Looking To Steady The Boat At Amazon
It has been reported that recently Amazon has faced significant turnover in its vice-presidential ranks. Whilst not verified it is alleged that some employees are worried that execs from slower-moving companies will cause Amazon’s culture to suffer. However it appears in the memo that Andy was quick to set the record straight
“We’ve shown a willingness to make bold, innovative, long-term bets to make customers’ lives better. You should expect that to continue,”…”We also move fast.”Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon
Jassy also makes clear his experience learning from Bezos, adding that he’s worked under him for two decades. He makes clear his love for the company and also his deep respect for the company’s founder. This is also a very wise move to let those on the inside and outside at Amazon know that there will not be a radical change and to expect much of the same.
Here is the full memo from Andy Jassy to the Amazon workforce:
Wanted to send a fast note in my first week as Amazon CEO to communicate a few things.
First, I’m really honored to be taking on the role. Have a ton of respect for Jeff, been lucky to work directly for him for nearly 20 years, and know what a big responsibility it is to do this job. You have my commitment, as well as the broader leadership team’s commitment, to stay laser-focused on making customers’ lives better every day, and doing so while also caring for our teammates and helping you grow and succeed in your careers.
Second, I love Amazon. I’ve been here for over 24 years, worked on many of our businesses, and am even more passionate about Amazon than when I arrived in 1997. Working at a company that starts with the customer, and evolves its strategies and tactics backwards from there is unusual. Many companies claim they’ll do this, few actually do. Amazon is rare this way. We’re also inventors. If you want to change outcomes for customers, you have to be willing (and hungry) to constantly invent and reinvent — even if it means sometimes cannibalizing your own businesses.
We’ve shown a willingness to make bold, innovative, long-term bets to make customers’ lives better. You should expect that to continue. We also move fast. We’re strategically patient, but tactically impatient. Speed disproportionately matters to customers, and to businesses of all sizes at every stage of their evolution. Few people wake up thinking, “I want my items to come more slowly,” or “I want my customer experience to get stale,” or “I want to work at a company that moves slowly.” Moving quickly to understand what matters to customers, solving their problems, making their lives easier, and continuing to invent on their behalf are at the heart of our culture and will remain so.
Third, just want you to know that you, my fellow Amazonians, matter a lot to me. I started at Amazon when there were just ~250 employees. We now have more than 1.2M employees. It’s happened fast, especially over the last decade as our businesses have grown. At our size, at the pace we’re trying to move for customers, and with our penchant for experimenting, we won’t get everything right. We have issues that we need to work on — some we can solve quickly, others will take longer. But, please know that I care, and that we will work together to make Amazon better every day.
Finally, I want to remind us all about the role Amazon continues to play in the world. It’s pretty extraordinary. We ship and deliver tens of millions of packages to customers every day. That’s when there isn’t a pandemic. During the pandemic, that number meaningfully increased as we helped so many people get their needed PPE, groceries, and other essential items while so many physical stores were closed. Probably like many of you, I’ve had lots of people say to me “thank goodness for Amazon — don’t know how I would have gotten through this without them.”
We also provided business continuity to millions of customers via AWS, while helping companies like Zoom, Netflix, Blackboard, and, Epic Games handle the sudden and sustained surge of so many people being planted full-time in their homes (not sure if you have kids who are as obsessed with Epic Games’ Fortnight, but my son seemed very thankful it scaled well :-).
Amazon offerings like Prime Video, Amazon Music, Twitch, Audible, Alexa, and FireTV provided people with entertainment and companionship when distractions were most welcome. We created half a million jobs last year, and have continued to lead the way in raising starting wages to at least $15 in the U.S. (more than double the federal minimum wage). Many companies have followed, and we hope many more will. We helped 1.9 million sellers expand their customer bases to a global audience and radically change their earning prospects.
We’re working to create a more sustainable planet with The Climate Pledge, our commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, and we’re now the world’s largest buyer of renewable energy. Last month, we committed $150 million to empower Black-owned businesses with our Black Business Accelerator. And, we’ve created a $2 billion Housing Equity Fund aimed at preserving and creating more than 20,000 affordable homes for families in the Puget Sound, Arlington, and Nashville regions.
This is a pretty remarkable amount of impact in the world, and we’ve just gotten started. It’s so early in how we will serve consumers, sellers, developers, businesses, authors, artists, creators, and other partners. We’ll do this together, listening to customers, understanding their needs, and inventing on their behalf to make their lives better.
I look forward to pursuing the adventure together.
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