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AWS Channel Chief: CEO Andy Jassy ‘So Hungry To Do More’

‘His craft is managing this company and making sure that we do all the right things for the customers,’ Amazon Web Services channel chief Doug Yeum says.

Amazon Web Services channel chief Doug Yeum looks at his nearly two years as CEO Andy Jassy’s chief of staff/technical advisor as his MBA program of sorts.

“There’s so much that I learned from Andy, I don’t know where to start,” said Yeum, who never earned a master of business administration degree from a university.

Yeum became head of AWS’ worldwide channels and alliances in July 2019 after serving in that “shadow” role with Jassy following his tenure as AWS’ general manager in Korea. Jassy – often regarded as the father of cloud computing -- earned his own MBA from Harvard University before joining Amazon in 1997 and launching AWS some nine years later. Today, AWS is on track for a more than $46 billion annual revenue run rate, on 29 percent year-over-year growth, as the world’s largest cloud provider by far.

“When I watched Andy, one of the things that continued to amaze me about him is that he is still so humble and so hungry to do more than what he’s doing right now,” Yeum told CRN news editor Steve Burke during The Channel Company’s Best of Breed Virtual Event Series on Wednesday. “He’s built an amazing business with this team. Obviously, there are a lot of important people who’ve contributed to this success, but as a CEO of this company and as…the founder of this AWS business, he’s played an important role.”

Jassy always is trying to optimize and “master his craft,” according to Yeum.

“His craft is managing this company and making sure that we do all the right things for the customers,” Yeum said. “He spends so much time trying to think about what can we optimize around speed, around customer obsession, around operational excellence, around security. He’s always thinking about how we can get better.”

“I didn’t have the fortune of knowing him back when he started with Amazon back in 1997, but I have a feeling that he hasn’t changed much since,” Yeum continued. “He is the same guy who joined Amazon straight out of Harvard Business School. He dove in, started working on a bunch of things. He rolled up his sleeves, and he still does that every day. That is something that I always respect, and something that continues to inspire me a lot.”

Jassy excels at taking control of his time, an important ability for leaders who are juggling so many things, according to Yeum.

“He really understands the value of his time, and he treats time like…it is the most important asset that he has,” Yeum said. “And he is constantly looking at where he’s spending his time. Is he spending enough time with customers? Is he spending enough time with product development? Is he spending enough time looking at our operational excellence?”

Yeum attested to Jassy’s commitment to the AWS Partner Network.

“His focus and dedication to our partners is something that I think some people may not see, because he doesn’t get to talk to our partners as regularly as I do, but he still spends a significant amount of time with partners,” Yeum said. “In general, I think people think that AWS may not be as partner friendly, but that just could be the furthest thing from the truth about how we think about our partners.”

Yeum and Jassy talk about AWS’ partner business “all the time,” according to Yeum, looking at what more they can do to help partners – and joint customers – succeed and what more AWS can do to move faster and scale businesses together.

“He is so focused on making sure that we have great relationships with our partners,” Yeum said. “So I wanted to make sure that all the partners who are watching this show today -- if there’s one thing that they can take away from this -- is that Andy Jassy, as the CEO of AWS, he is super, super focused on making sure that we have great relationships with all of our partners.”

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