business news in context, analysis with attitude

Good piece in the Wall Street Journal that sort of follows up on a Seattle Times story the other day about how many Amazon graduates have started their own companies.

"For decades, General Electric Co. was America’s breeding ground for corporate chiefs," the Journal writes. "Executives who rose through the conglomerate’s ranks in its heyday and passed through its rigorous management program went on to run behemoths such as Home Depot Inc. and 3M Co.

"In the Big Tech era, Amazon has become the incubator for CEOs and entrepreneurs. At the core of Amazon’s ethos is a scrappy startup mentality that encourages employees to constantly innovate and challenge the way things are typically done.

"There’s one element some ex-Amazonians are leaving behind: the harsher parts of Amazon’s culture, such as hiring practices that favor skills over collegiality. Amazon is known for disregarding social cohesion in interviewing candidates, former employees said, elevating other traits over an ability to work well with colleagues."

You can read the story here.
KC's View:
I hope these folks do better than Larry Johnston and Robert Nardelli, who each came out of GE and demonstrated that they were almost completely over their heads at Albertsons and Home Depot.

I'd bet they will, simply because Amazon strikes me as a 21st century company with precisely the right kind of ethos and understanding of the zeitgeist. Plus, I know Tom Furphy … who strikes me as the very best example of the character and leadership exhibited by Amazon alumni.