In his two years as Amazon’s CEO, Andy Jassy has been working tirelessly to address the aftermath of the company’s aggressive expansion during the pandemic and the legacy left behind by his predecessor, Jeff Bezos. Jassy has implemented measures to rein in Amazon’s rapid warehouse growth, streamlined the company’s sprawling product line, and made difficult decisions to lay off thousands of employees involved in Bezos’s pet projects. However, Jassy’s challenges continue to mount as he now faces a long-anticipated lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that alleges Amazon used unfair tactics to monopolize online shopping, resulting in higher prices and poorer quality for consumers. It is worth noting that the suit predominantly focuses on aspects of the business that were established before Jassy assumed control of the retail division.
The lawsuit filed by the FTC places significant mention on Jeff Bezos, referencing the former CEO 16 times, while Jassy is mentioned only twice. Jassy finds himself in a similar situation to other chief executives in the tech industry who have taken over immense companies from their idiosyncratic founders during challenging times. The success of these second-generation leaders is not solely determined by their visionary capabilities but is also reliant on their ability to navigate the concerns of Wall Street investors and the skepticism of regulators in Washington. Jassy faces the task of rectifying the mess created by someone else while simultaneously ensuring the smooth operation of Amazon.
Analysts, such as Sucharita Kodali from Forrester Research, recognize the difficult position Jassy finds himself in, stating that he is “cleaning up a mess that somebody else created” while trying to maintain the company’s stability. As Jassy confronts the FTC lawsuit and aims to manage both external and internal expectations, the way he handles these challenges will shape his reputation as a leader and impact Amazon’s relationship with investors and regulators moving forward.