Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Calls on Employees to ‘Reset’ the Company

  • Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told employees Tuesday that it will take many months to reset the company.
  • But he said that if everyone works together as a team, Amazon will come through this stronger.
  • He said Amazon is cutting costs but also investing in long-term strategic areas.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy delivered a brutally honest motivational talk at an internal staff meeting on Tuesday, urging employees to pull together as the company tries to get through an unusually challenging time.

Jassy said there is a lot of work to do to progress Amazon’s existing business, new businesses, teams and company culture. It will take “many months” and some of the company’s moves will be “misinterpreted”. But he promised employees that the progress they make will “reset” Amazon and better position the company going forward, according to a recording of the all-hands meeting obtained by Insider.

“This is not a job that’s going to take a month or two, you know, we’re going to make progress, significant progress every month, but it’s going to take many months, and I’m pretty confident that we’re going to be misunderstood and it’s not going to be underestimated,” said Jassy .

“And you know what, it won’t be the first time this happens, and it won’t be the last time this happens. If we focus squarely on delivering to customers and realize, all of us as owners, that we all have a piece to do If that happens and be part of the solution, I’m pretty confident that we’ll deliver a huge amount and redefine what it means to be Amazon. I feel strongly that our best days are undoubtedly ahead of us, and I look forward to making that happen for everyone. you,” he added.

Jassy’s comments were in response to a question from an employee about the cost-cutting and investments that Amazon has been simultaneously making in recent months. A combination of a major growth slowdown and a tough economy led Amazon to lay off 18,000 people last month and close a slew of long-term projects. At the same time, Amazon has committed to continue investing in areas such as grocery shopping, health and personal devices.

An Amazon spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

‘Breathtaking set of innovations’

Amazon began seeing “a very uncertain economic environment” last summer as the company made operational plans for the coming year, Jassy said. Due to the massive expansion and hiring that Amazon has undertaken, the company has had to find ways to optimize costs in a turbulent economy, which has led to layoffs, hiring freezes and the cancellation of many projects.

“For any leadership team and for all of us as a group, we always have to look at what’s happening around us in the macro economy and also in our businesses,” said Jassy. “I know this is and feels like a very difficult time.”

Still, Amazon was keen to save the resources it needed to pursue key long-term strategic bets that could “change broad customer experiences,” he said. Jassy mentioned a long list of investment areas including: grocery; international markets; entertainment (streaming music and video); the Alexa voice assistant; personal devices; Zoox autonomous vehicles; Project Kuiper broadband satellites; and health.

“The collection I just mentioned is a breathtaking set of innovations that we are looking for. I really don’t know of any other company that is looking for a set of innovations like this,” said Jassy.

To that end, Jassy encouraged employees to work as a team, as it’s usually a “series of things” – not one great invention – that makes companies grow. He said every employee must do the following three things to help Amazon succeed:

  • Focus: Amazon is no longer hiring as many people, which should free up time to “be more productive this year,” Jassy said. “There’s so much we can do,” he said.
  • Be obsessed with the customer: Customer obsession has always been at the heart of Amazon’s culture, but it’s particularly important now. “These are uncertain and difficult times, so you have an opportunity to re-prioritise and rethink what matters most to customers,” said Jassy.
  • Own it: Take responsibility and be passionate about your work, he said. In uncertain times, companies need to work more as a team, he said, emphasizing the need for savings to cut costs. “The competition is tough enough and we need to work together as a team. Think about how fast and insurgent we can be,” he said.

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