Joy Covey, the former CFO at Amazon.com who helped take the company public in 1997 at an IPO price of $18 (it currently trade for $316), died last week when the bicycle she was riding collided with a van. She was 50.
- KC's View:
I never met Joy Covey, but in reading the coverage of her passing, I was struck by how much she did not fit the standard business mold. She apparently had an IQ of 173, but a restless nature that led her to quit high school and leave home at age 15. According to the San Jose Mercury News, "She passed the high school equivalency exam, then bagged groceries in Fresno for a while, graduated from Cal State-Fresno in 21/2 years, and scored second highest in the country on the exam to become a certified public accountant. A brief stint at the accounting firm Arthur Young led her to Harvard, where she earned an MBA and a law degree. She was the only member of her Harvard cohort to arrive with bragging rights over bagging both groceries and high school."
Covey became CFO at Amazon at age 33, but quit the company in 2000 to go skiing, to have a family, and later became a trustee at the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council.
In short, it sounds like she was an unconventional person who had an unconventional and remarkable life, albeit one far too short.