Who are we?

Amazonians come from all sorts of backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. We build new systems, challenge the status quo, and work relentlessly to design products and innovations that make life easier for millions of customers and sellers all over the world. Here are just a few of our extraordinary builders.

"If learning is the most important thing for you to develop your career, you should come to Amazon. I would feel comfortable running an entire business based on my experience here. I don't know if I would be able to say that same thing if I'd spent five years somewhere else."

From the very beginning, Remya's time at Amazon on the Kindle team was all about seeking chances to learn. "Right away I got involved in a bunch of different tasks," she says, "so even though my official title was business analyst, I got to manage programs, projects—everything."

After three years with the Kindle content team, Remya craved the sense of heading into brand new territory, a place with lots of unknowns. She moved to the team that invented Dash, a handheld scanner and voice-recognition device. At Dash, Remya had never worked on a hardware team, and this was a chance to learn. She says she thrived "by admitting to not knowing anything. That's the first step. I said to my team, 'I've never worked on hardware before. I'd love to learn.' And then I quickly proved to them that I could."

But her most potent learning experiences at Amazon have come in meetings with top executives. "What makes them really good leaders is that they know what questions to ask. That's a skill that I'm looking to develop. They get excited, they brainstorm with us as a team."

Remya, who recently returned from maternity leave, says she's happy to be back. "I'm sleep deprived like most new moms, but I am actually loving being back," she says with a laugh. "There are lots of important decisions being made regarding the Treasure Truck project, and I'm glad I'm able to be part of them. I'm doing it because I love it."

"The more you build, and the more you collaborate, the more passionate you become at Amazon," says Mike Bundy, who started out in a temp job stacking pallets at Amazon's first fulfillment center in 1997. Today, he manages a 300-person software organization. "I feel like a founder of the company. I feel a great deal of personal pride in what we've done."

In his fulfillment center days, when Amazon still had a lot of technological growing pains, Mike was always the guy popping into the tech room to ask, "How can we help?" His curiosity and commitment led to relationships with mentors who helped him follow his passion in Amazon's mission.

It's easy to forget, but there was a time when Amazon didn't—and couldn't—promise that an order would arrive by a certain date. Mike helped change that. "We totally overhauled the way we make promises on the website," he says. "We developed the capability to make these aggressive delivery estimates and keep them. In many ways, this was what Prime was born of."

One of Mike's Amazon mentors taught him that "the bottom line is total ownership. There is no problem you don't own, and you've got to dive deep on them all, and you've got to move really fast."

For Mike, who got married and became a dad during his almost two decades at Amazon, ownership isn't just getting work done; it's about leaving work behind and recharging with family. "If you let your calendar get filled with non-essential stuff, you're not owning your career, and you're not owning your path. You can be scrappy. You can be entrepreneurial. You don't have to give up your personal life."

“Amazon is an intellectual feast for inventors, where your curiosity can lead you through many interesting adventures,” says Melissa Cha, who has worked on Kindle, Fire tablet, Fire TV, and Amazon Echo devices. “The sheer breadth of opportunities to solve problems at scale and to build is incredible.”

For Melissa, experimentation was key when getting to know her customers. “I’d try a different Amazon product, tool, or service to understand the customer experience firsthand. One week, I decided to sell something on Amazon to understand the seller experience.” She sold a Nook, and immediately thereafter purchased a Kindle.

Throughout the years, Melissa has worked to develop Amazon’s computer vision and machine learning projects. “Big data problems can be hard and resource-intensive. I’m especially proud of how our team operates like a startup–we prioritize relentlessly, stay focused on the customer, and invent our way through problems each day.”

While Melissa considers her greatest achievement to be raising her children, she has a special place for technology, and finds joy in the here and now, the immediacy of the present, and the anticipation for her future at Amazon.

“Building out the technology and operations team for Kindle in India was a transformative experience. I had to go back to my home country, where I’d never worked,” says Lakshmi Nidamarthi, who has been at Amazon since 2000. “I did everything from negotiating the rates for dustbins to recruiting and building out software teams.”

Lakshmi describes her first day at Amazon as thrilling. “I joined Amazon in the Seller Business when we were six years in as a company. I worked on the eleventh floor of the PacMed building. We were always out of space. We are still out of space!” Even then with little room to spare, her office was one of the first to allow employees to bring their dogs to work.

Throughout her career, Lakshmi has been involved in launching the Kindle and pioneering Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging program. “I had the opportunity to start the sustainability team at Amazon, and am so glad to see they are doing such awesome work today.”

Lakshmi believes that all her experiences have taught her the importance of understanding all aspects of building a product with a long-term view. She is now responsible for bringing new products to market for Amazon’s sellers.

“I’m a builder at heart,” says Lakshmi, who is a mother of two boys. “I’m helping build products that can help deliver impact at scale.” And while building is her fuel for inspiration, Lakshmi is most happy with her family. “Amazon has been a big part of our lives, and I’m pretty happy with what I have accomplished so far—having a fulfilling career and being a parent.”

 

Want more?

RETURN TO ABOUT AMAZON
RETURN TO INTERVIEWING AT AMAZON