Few people have had a bigger impact in the world of modern computing than Andy Jassy, the CEO and President of Amazon since July 2021.
Jassy's ascension to the top of Amazon was 24 years in the making. He began his career at the company in 1997 — just before the dot-com boom — helping what was then a small online bookseller to expand its catalogue to CDs. Armed with a Harvard Law degree, he started working in a variety of roles at the tech company, including business development and marketing.
Then, in the early 2000s, Jassy was chosen for the coveted position of "technical assistant" to work with founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Also known as a "shadow role," for the next 18 months he literally followed Bezos around, taking notes in all his meetings, including his one-on-ones, and learning directly from the CEO himself.
It was the opportunity of a lifetime. As Jassy followed the boss around, he identified several inefficiencies in how teams at Amazon worked together. At one point, he convinced Bezos to "standardize backend requirements" and invest in infrastructure. Then, in 2003, during a brainstorming session in Bezos’ living room, the pair cooked up an idea to build the cloud-computing platform now known as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Things would never be the same. With Jassy acting as its chief architect and evangelist, AWS launched in 2006. Then, from 2016 until 2021, he served as its CEO. Over the years, he helped AWS steadily grow from a nascent idea that was widely questioned in the technology community, to a multibillion-dollar business that dominates the internet today.
In addition to his many contributions to Amazon, Jassy is also known for his philanthropy, having donated millions of dollars to various charitable organizations and causes. Away from the office, he serves on the Trust of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, on the Board of Trustees for Rainier Scholars, and as Chair of Rainier Prep’s Board of Directors.
Furthermore, Jassy has been recognized for his leadership skills, and he has received a number of awards and accolades in the industry, including being named Person of the Year by the Financial Times in 2016.