Amazon has been a threat to many companies and industries for many years. The company is constantly in the crosshairs of regulators and Congress. Leading a company like Amazon with businesses from internet retail to cloud computing requires a unique mix of skills. When Amazon’s founder decided to step down, he chose Andy Jassy because Bezos believed chose Jassy to be his successor because Bezos believed that Jassy had the skills and temperament to be the company’s next CEO.
9 things about Andy Jassy
1. Jassy was born in a wealthy Jewish family
Jassy was born in Scarsdale, New York to a Jewish family with Hungarian ancestry. He attended Scarsdale High School. His dad Everett Jassy and his father-in-law George Caplan are both lawyers.
2. He went to Harvard University for an undergraduate degree and MBA
Jassy got his undergraduate degree in government from Harvard Collège. After his undergraduate degree, he worked as a project manager for MBI, a collectibles company. Briefly, he ran a business with a colleague from MBI but that business didn’t last long. He went back to Harvard after five years to get his MBA.
3. He joined Amazon in 1997 and played a key role in the formation of the AWS unit
In 1997, he joined Amazon as a marketing manager. In 2002, he came an advisor to Jeff Bezos. Jassy is credited with coming up with the idea of cloud based computing services, which later became Amazon Web Services (AWS). In 2016, he became the CEO of AWS. In February 2021, he became the CEO of Amazon after the company’s founder Jeff Bezos decided to step down.
4. He is not afraid to make controversial decisions
Parlor, the social media platform preferred by conservatives, was kicked out of the Amazon platform for inciting violence after the Jan 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. This decision was not popular among conservatives, who accused Amazon of trying to remove free speech from the internet.
5. Jassy has a good sense of humor
Speaking of Amazon’s failure with Fire phones, Jassy said:
I mean, you probably know that we launched a phone, and that didn’t exactly set the world on fire, no pun intended.
Like Bezos, Jassy realizes that failure is a part of innovation. When you stop failing, you stop innovating.
Invention requires two things: One, the ability to try a lot of experiments, and two, not having to live with the collateral damage of failed experiments.
6. He got married the same year he joined Amazon
Jassy married Elana Rochelle Caplan in 1997, the same year he graduated from Harvard and joined Amazon. Both their fathers were partners at the law firm Dewey Ballantine. Caplan is a former apparel designer. She founded Eclectic Nomad – a marketplace for textile, rug, and glassware – in 2015. The couple has two children.
7. He used to organize wing eating contests
Jassy used to organize monthly wing eating contests for friends and colleagues. He is a platinum member (a level that requires eating 25 wings in one sitting and five pasties) and a veggie member (a level that requires eating 100 celery sticks and 25 pasty celery sticks).
8. He is a sports fanatic
Jassy is a big sports fan. He has seven TVs in his basement. When he was growing up, his family had season tickets to Rangers and Giants games. Though he moved to Seattle, his loyalty has stayed with New York sports teams. Despite that, he is a minority owner of the NHL team Seattle Kraken.
9. Jassy is very rich but he is not a billionaire (yet)
Jassy’s wealth comes from the Amazon stock he receives as part of his compensation. His net worth is estimated to be $400 million. But it’s only a matter of time before he joins the ranks of billionaires.