Read Andy Jassy’s first company-wide email as Amazon’s new CEO: ‘We have issues that we need to work on’

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy

  • Andy Jassy sent out his first company-wide email on Tuesday, after officially starting as Amazon CEO on Monday.
  • In the email, Jassy thanked Amazon’s employees, but acknowledged there’s a lot of work to do.
  • “I look forward to pursuing the adventure together,” Jassy said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andy Jassy sent his first company-wide email as Amazon CEO on Tuesday, addressing his thoughts about the new role he officially took over the day before.

In the email, obtained by Insider, Jassy reiterates his commitment to Amazon, urges the company to continue to take long-term bets, and thanks Amazon’s roughly 1.3 million employees for their work.

He also highlights the “extraordinary” role Amazon plays in the world and its immense impact on the society at large, a likely reminder for employees to show more empathy and take more social responsibility in every decision they make – a cultural change underscored by Amazon’s move to add two new leadership principles in those areas last week.

Jassy, who first joined Amazon in 1997, was most recently CEO of Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing business. He was named Amazon’s CEO in February, after the company’s founding CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced his resignation to become executive chair of the company. Jassy’s first official day as Amazon CEO was Monday.

Here’s the full email from Jassy to Amazon’s workforce:

Amazonians.

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.

Andy

Do you work at Amazon? Contact reporter Eugene Kim via the encrypted-messaging apps Signal/Telegram (+1-650-942-3061) or email ([email protected]).

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