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Amazon's 1997 shareholder letter was reportedly co-written by Joy Covey



In 2019, Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world.

The company has dramatically evolved from its original role as an online bookstore – Amazon now sells everything, from food to the home. The cloud computing business drives large parts of the internet. The divorce of the CEO is title page.

When the company's first letter was introduced to shareholders in 1997, Amazon was relatively small. The shareholder letter, despite its small size, provided a bold vision for the future of the company.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for WIRED25

It formed the basis for much of Amazon's rise to dominance: especially the relentless focus on customers otherwise and prioritization of reinvestment short-term shareholder returns.

This letter, issued by Amazon each year, represents much of what the company stands for – a core document that acts as a kind of two-in-one vision and origin story.

In particular, the letter was signed by the man who later became the face of the company: CEO Jeff Bezos.

However, according to Recode's Jason Del Rey in the Land of the Giants podcast, the letter was reportedly co-written by Joy Covey, Amazon's first-ever CFO.

Covey was critical to Amazon's IPO, according to Mary Meeker, partner of Kleiner Perkins.

"One was the hardcore visionary in Jeff, and one was the one who tried to keep everything as stable as possible," says Meeker Del Rey in the latest episode of his podcast. "And they're both adventurers – the first to go down a mountain or the first to try a new meal in a foreign land, both of them people who let it crack."

Joy Covey died in a bicycle accident in 2013. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on this report.


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