Jeff Bezos is having a tough start to the year — Meet the Amazon CEO’s top 9 direct reports that he’s relying on to run the company (AMZN)
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has 9 direct reports, based on a list compiled by Business Insider.
- Bezos is facing a number of issues this year, both inside and outside of the company, making it more important than ever to rely on these people to run Amazon.
- One notable change from last year's direct reports is the "shadow" advisor position, who typically accompanies Bezos to every meeting under the goal of learning about the business.
- But the list is mostly the same from last year, reflecting the stability among Amazon's leadership ranks.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is off to a rough start in 2020, facing a myriad of issues in and out of the company.
Internally, Bezos is facing an unprecedented level of employee dissent over certain company policies, like its climate pledge, which led to a public protest last month. Externally, Amazon is under growing regulatory pressure both at home and abroad, including in India, where Bezos couldn't meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit last month despite a charm offensive.
More personally, Bezos is facing major attacks, in large part due to his ownership of the Washington Post. Besides President Trump, who's been a regular critic of Bezos over the years, the Amazon CEO is now part of a bizarre phone hacking scheme that allegedly involves the Saudi government and Michael Sanchez, the brother of his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.
All this makes it more important than ever for Bezos to rely on his team of 9 direct reports to help him run Amazon. Business Insider has identified the 9 most powerful people at Amazon who report directly to Bezos, with roles covering everything from e-commerce and cloud computing to hardware devices and public policy.
Not much has changed from last year, based on documents seen by Business Insider. The only difference from last year is the technical advisor position, better known as the "shadow" advisor, which is vacant for the first time in nearly two decades, as Business Insider previously reported. The absence of a shadow, who typically accompanies Bezos to every meeting, suggests the CEO may be busy spending more time on non-Amazon issues, like fending off personal attacks from other powerful figures or external projects like his space exploration company Blue Origin.
The lack of change in Bezos's direct reports also reflect the stability in Amazon's upper ranks and the trust built among his top deputies. Unlike other tech companies, Amazon's most senior leadership team has seen very little turnover over the years. And that stability is yielding solid returns, as seen in last week's quarterly earnings report that blew past street expectations and boosted Amazon's stock by almost 10%.
Bezos, meanwhile, added 6 new executives this year to his S-team, a separate group of top Amazon executives who advise the CEO on every company issue. Members of the S-team don't always report directly to Bezos and include a wider-range of business leaders covering fashion and advertising.
Amazon's representative declined to comment.
Meet the 9 people reporting directly to Bezos:
Jeff Wilke, CEO of worldwide consumer
Wilke is one of the three CEOs at Amazon, alongside Bezos and Andy Jassy, who runs the AWS cloud division. Wilke, who first joined Amazon in 1999, is in charge of everything on the retail side, including the marketplace, Prime memberships, and Whole Foods.
Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services
Jassy, who started at Amazon in 1997, is the face of the AWS cloud division. As CEO of AWS, Jassy runs all aspects of the $35 billion business, and is considered one of Bezos's most trusted lieutenants.
Jeff Blackburn, SVP, Business and Corporate Development
Blackburn runs newer parts of Amazon, such as Prime Video and its advertising business. He also oversees the company's M&A and investment arms. Blackburn, who joined Amazon in 1998, is also considered one of the closest advisors to Bezos. He's currently taking a one-year sabbatical.
Dave Limp, SVP, Amazon Devices, Digital Management
Limp is Amazon's hardware boss. He runs the secretive Lab126 team and other parts of Amazon's hardware business, such as the Alexa voice-assistant. He joined Amazon in 2010.
Jay Carney, SVP, Global Corporate Affairs
Carney runs all press and policy teams at Amazon. His role has grown in importance lately as Amazon has faced a more hostile regulatory environment. Carney previously served as the White House press secretary for President Barack Obama.
Brian Olsavsky, SVP and CFO
Olsavsky is in charge of Amazon's finances. He's best known for taking the company's earnings call every quarter. After joining Amazon in 2002, he was promoted to CFO in 2015.
David Zapolsky, SVP & General Counsel, Legal
Zapolsky is Amazon's top lawyer. He oversees Amazon's legal and compliance issues. He became the general counsel in 2014, nearly 15 years after joining Amazon.
Beth Galetti, SVP, Human Resources
Galetti is in charge of Amazon's human resources division. Her responsibilities include hiring and employee benefits, as well as performance reviews. She was named the HR chief in 2016, just three years after joining Amazon.
John Connors, Executive Assistant
Connors has been Bezos's executive assistant for the past two decades. That loyalty has earned Bezos's respect, as he thanked Connors in an Instagram post last year for his continued service. "You're a big reason I'm able to be so busy and not go nuts — in fact, you somehow even make it calm!" Bezos wrote.