Amazon has a new leader in Andy Jassy. With big shoes to fill and residual problems left by founder Jeff Bezos, there are five crucial acts Jassy must do in the first 100 days as CEO.
The ex-AWS boss inherits the challenges and prospects of a company considered the corporate equivalent of a country. With increasing employee activism and evolving marketplace relations, analysts and industry watchers opine that Jassy needs to zero in on five top leadership priorities.
Focus on working conditions
During the pandemic, Amazon’s profitability was not the only thing that captured headlines. With Amazon on the brink of becoming America’s biggest employer, the company’s employee relations have never been more significant.
Most of the former online bookstore turned eCommerce giant’s workers have cause to be agitated. According to a New York Times investigative report, while the company has enjoyed enormous revenue despite the pandemic, its turnover rate is pegged at 150%. As such, Amazon’s working conditions need to be on top of Jassy’s 100-day agenda.
Already, rivals are capitalizing on Amazon’s unfair labor and business practices. Congress has also been keen on investigating monopolistic tendencies of the nation’s eCommerce giants, including Amazon.
As the new public persona of Amazon, watchers are looking forward to how Jassy presents himself and the company.
Resolve the existential crisis
Amazon has transformed its business processes to produce a seamless user shopping experience. Nevertheless, a host of labor woes and an increasingly outspoken workplace plagues the company. Its employees are complaining about fatigue, stress, extreme monitoring and discipline, and overall misery.
Moreover, the company considers the looming existence of a national union as its top threat. Such will be a great test for Jassy’s leadership.
Before he stepped down, Bezos had announced his vision of making Amazon the “best employer” in the world. Therefore, Harvard professor Sunil Gupta opined that Jassy must start executing this vision by fixing the company’s relations with warehouse workers.
Enhance seller relations
Amazon needs to step up its relationship with third-party sellers and their numerous complaints. Despite casting a wider net for sales, many sellers are disgruntled with fee increases, counterfeit products, unfair suspensions, and fake reviews.
Leaving these issues unaddressed opens doors for Amazon’s eCommerce rivals such as Walmart, Shopify, and Target.
Keep and hire builders
The company does not only have a turnover problem with the warehouses. Its senior executives are leaving in droves. Watchers and former employees consider this a significant issue Jassy should address.
Several Amazon VPs who departed were industry veterans. Replacing them with people from much smaller companies can change the institutional culture of risk-taking and building, and eventually settle for something status quo-oriented. Jassy needs to retain these builders to sustain the company’s growth principle of “risk, fail grow.”
Jassy is known for his extreme attention to detail. While this is not necessarily negative, industry experts are wary of this leadership style. Micromanagement can slow down decision-making and use up more time than is necessary.
Former and current executives consider this “a real issue” with Jassy since he “reviews everything.” As a result, he leaves no room for delegation, which could end up hurting the company in the long term.