I’m starting to believe he is not very good at his job.
Jassy spent his previous 15 years running Amazon Web Services. He built that cloud and managed its managers. He made it self-service and made Amazon THE Cloud Czar. That’s his genius. That’s what he’s good at. Let him do that.
But running a store isn’t like running a Cloud. Stores need merchandising. Amazon’s store didn’t need merchandising while it was scaling, because demand took care of everything through the worst of COVID.
But now it needs merchandising. Walmart and Target all have good benches. Hire one of them and make them the face of the franchise. Their aim should be to use Amazon’s buying power to get the mass market goods Americans most want and leave niches to the giant third parties on the platform. (Those relations are vital, and need to be improved.) Coordinate with third party sellers instead of competing. Let them know your focus, have them tell Amazon theirs, and stay out of one another’s way.
Amazon also needs someone to operate the back end. That’s not easy, and it can kill good merchandising. Lowe’s found that out until they got Marvin Ellison out of JC Penney (he’d previously been with Home Depot). Jassy shouldn’t be involved.
In fact, Jassy shouldn’t be in public at all. Amazon is too big and too diverse to be run by one dude. Put a positive public face on each division. You’ll get better leaders that way, and a better public image. Steal the best people being let go by Netflix and Disney. Now is the time to attack, not retreat.
Jassy sees computers first, people second. He’ll negotiate with programmers who say, “we can’t get this done without your paying $XXX.” He won’t negotiate with warehousemen. He sees the goal of operations as getting rid of warehousemen and negotiating with people you’re trying to get rid of is sub-optimal. It’s a bad look. Get someone who can erase that look.
The bottom line is this. Andy Jassy has the charisma of a damp squib. He needs to be hidden away.