Amazon Leadership: Visionary Leadership Focusing on Customer Service

By John Dudovskiy
March 22, 2022

Amazon LeadershipAmazon leadership style has been classified as pragmatist. Pragmatist leaders “set high standards and unapologetically expect those standards to be met by themselves and by their employees”[1] The company’s founder and first CEO, Jeff Bezos is an exceptional and proven business leader. Bezos efficiently exercises visionary and servant leadership styles and places exceptional customer service at the core of Amazon’s business practice.

Moreover, Jeff Bezos leadership style is unique in several ways. For example, it has been noted that “while you might find other internet firms focusing on a fun, relaxed atmosphere for their employees, no-frills Bezos is proving the potency of another model: coddling his 164 million customers, not his 56,000 employees.”[2]

Jeff Bezos’ leadership style can be analysed through the prism of contingency leadership theory. According to contingency leadership theory, “leader’s effectiveness is contingent upon with how his or her leadership style matches to the situation.”[3] Jeff Bezos leadership style has been characterized as harsh, cutthroat and demanding.[4] It can be argued that such a leadership style fitted the situation on the onset of the business, when the company had to strengthen its position on rapidly expanding industry.

In July 2021 Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO and assumed the role of company’s executive chairman. Andy Jassy CEO of Amazon Web Services became the new CEO of the online retail behemoth. At has been noted that although Andy Jassy values Bezos leadership style the new CEO is “more mild-mannered, soft-spoken and less prone to angry outbursts compared to Bezos”[5]

Nevertheless, Mr. Bezos will continue to yield an immense influence on the business and Amazon leadership style for the foreseeable future. This is because his new role executive chairman grants his involvement in strategic decision making and Mr. Bezos remains as the largest shareholder of the e-commerce giant.

Amazon leadership principles found in official company job site consists of the following 16 points:

  1. Customer Obsession
  2. Ownership
  3. Invent and Simplify
  4. Leaders Are Right, A Lot
  5. Learn and Be Curious
  6. Hire and Develop the Best
  7. Insist on the Highest Standards
  8. Think Big
  9. Bias for Action
  10. Frugality
  11. Earn Trust
  12. Dive Deep
  13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  14. Deliver Results
  15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer
  16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

Amazon Board of Directors comprises 9 members, who are experienced business leaders in a wide range of industries. The company ‘s senior leadership is aided by three committees – Audit Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Leadership Development and Compensation Committee. Amazon senior management team has been criticized for the lack of diversity.

Amazon leadership challenges include sustaining the profitability of the business despite the current thin profit margin. Up to date, the company has been able to deal this challenge through process innovations, deriving maximum benefits from human resources and constantly entering new business segments.

There is also a great challenge for the current pattern of Amazon leadership style related to the treatment of employees. Specifically, the e-commerce and cloud computing company is notorious for getting the most of its employees at the expense of employee work-life balance and the company is often criticised for its harsh treatment of the workforce. This particular challenge may prove to be difficult to address because getting the most of it employees has been one of the main factors fuelling the company growth to its current status. Inc. Report contains the above analysis of Amazon leadership. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Amazon. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Amazon business strategy, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Amazon marketing strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility. Inc. Report 2022


[1] Murphy, M. (2015) “Would Your Leadership Style Fit At Amazon?” Forbes, Available at:

[2] Blazek, K. (2016) “JEFF BEZOS: HOW HIS UNIQUE LEADERSHIP STYLE SET AMAZON APART” The Booth Company, Available at:

[3] McKenzie, L. & Love, K. (2016) “CONTINGENCY THEORY OF LEADERSHIP” in Organization and Administration in Recreation, Sport and Leisure Management, Editor Oakleaf, L.

[4] Cain, A. (2017) “9 Shocking Anecdotes That Reveal Jeff Bezos’s Cutthroat Management Style” Business Insider, Available at:

[5] Allyn, B. (2021) “Jeff Bezos Built Amazon 27 Years Ago. He Now Steps Down As CEO At Critical Time” NPR, Available at:

Category: Leadership
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