Andy Jassy speaks at the 2021 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo/Kevin Lisota)
In Todd Bishop’s Geekwire headline article outlines, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been rethinking many strategies and positions for the company. Amazon announced a 20-for-1 stock split and $10B stock buy-buy plan. This prompted Todd to ask how I interpret these changes and what might be next.
(from Todd’s artcle) It’s just one of the long-awaited decisions that Amazon has made in recent months. Taken as a whole, the moves give the impression that new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and team are working methodically through a list of difficult items that may have fallen by the wayside toward the end of founder Jeff Bezos’ tenure as CEO.
- Amazon more than doubled its maximum base pay to $350,000 for corporate and tech employees, aiming to help recruit top talent and retain existing employees.
- The company boosted the price of an Amazon Prime membership, increasing the annual fee from $119/year to $139/year to help cover rising costs.
- Amazon announced the closure of 68 retail stores, under the Amazon Books, 4-star and Pop Up chains, as part of a plan to focus on its core grocery and convenience stores and a new line of fashion outlets.
- The company reached settlements in labor and employment disputes involving warehouse and corporate employees (although its broader stance against unions remains the same and is coming to a head with new unionization efforts in multiple locations).
- In the lead-up to Jassy taking the reins last summer, Amazon instituted two new leadership principles that seek to make the company more accountable to employees and “the world at large.”
While these may be examples of Jassy coming in with fresh eyes and a new approach, these changes also reflect a longstanding Amazon ethos of challenging and questioning long-held positions, said John Rossman, a former Amazon business leader and author of multiple books about the company.
One of his books, Think Like Amazon, includes a chapter on the importance of never saying never, and not letting entrenched positions create a trap. The tumultuous nature of the past two years have underscored the importance this.
“You have to be willing to challenge the things that you’ve held true, because those may be the things that hold you back from the future,” Rossman said in an interview. “And Amazon has a history of rethinking past positions.”
He cited, as an example, Amazon’s past decision to move into bricks-and-mortar retail after years as a pure e-commerce company, which Amazon then revisited and adjusted again most recently by narrowing its retail footprint.
I suggested to Todd that what “could be next” might be a spin-off like AWS — something Amazon has always said is off-the-table. But perhaps, Amazon is once again evaluating how to “never say never”.
Read the full article HERE on Geekwire