Brian Olsavsky, the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Amazon, is a testament to the power of lifelong learning and dedication. Since joining the company in April 2002, he has played a pivotal role in Amazon's meteoric rise, overseeing critical financial operations and contributing to the company's strategic growth.
Born from humble beginnings, his journey began with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State. This foundation in engineering provided him with a unique perspective, blending technical expertise with financial acumen. He further honed his skills with an MBA in finance from Carnegie Mellon, setting the stage for a distinguished career in the world of finance.
Before joining Amazon, he accumulated a wealth of experience at renowned companies like Fisher Scientific, BF Goodrich, and Union Carbide. It was here that he honed his financial and operational prowess, gaining invaluable insights that would prove instrumental in his future role at Amazon.
In 2015, Olsavsky assumed the role of Senior Vice President and CFO at Amazon, marking a significant milestone in his career. His responsibilities span a wide spectrum, including controllership, tax, treasury, analysis, investor relations, internal audit, and financial operations. This multifaceted role underscores his versatile skill set and his ability to navigate complex financial landscapes.
Beyond his professional achievements, he is an ardent supporter of education and lifelong learning. He maintains strong ties with both Penn State and Carnegie Mellon, actively engaging as an alumnus, guest speaker, and benefactor. His contributions have not gone unnoticed, as he received the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Service Award, a testament to his unwavering commitment to his alma mater.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of his values. He leverages his extensive network within Amazon to promote sponsorship and mentoring, recognizing the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Olsavsky’s impact is particularly evident through his creation of employee groups dedicated to diversity, equity, and professional growth. Notably, he founded and leads the Women in Finance Initiative (WiFi), an affinity club that empowers women in finance and global business services at Amazon. Under his guidance, WiFi has flourished into a vibrant community, offering training, career development, and invaluable networking opportunities.
Outside of his professional sphere, he extends his influence to the community. He serves on the Seattle Advisory Council of Plymouth Housing, demonstrating his commitment to making a positive impact beyond the corporate realm.
Olsavsky's story is one of dedication, innovation, and a deep-seated commitment to inclusivity. His journey from an engineering background to the apex of Amazon's financial leadership exemplifies the power of lifelong learning and a passion for creating positive change. As a trailblazer in both finance and advocacy for diversity, his legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations to come.