retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times reports on how Amazon has created a fast-track leadership program designed for US military veterans and expected to put these vets "on a path toward the top ranks at the e-commerce giant’s ballooning empire."

"Launched in January 2017," the Times writes, "Amazon’s Military Leaders program is the company’s latest effort to bring veterans into its fold. It’s a popular cause — many companies, from Starbucks to Microsoft, do it. A year ago, Amazon committed to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years (Amazon says it has already hired “thousands” but won’t give more details.)

"But this program represents an interesting twist. It seeks to directly leverage the leadership skills acquired by officers and cutting-edge specialists in the military forces to give structure to its fast-growing logistics operations."

Rachel Lessard, a former nuclear submariner who is now a recruiter for the Military Leaders program, explains it this way: "When they come to Amazon they’re super-successful, they have a bias for action and have proven their ability. When you’re in a submarine your environment is so complex, and there’s so much extra going on that if you can be a submariner we think you can be a good fit for the complex environment in our operating centers.”

The story notes that "the program is modeled after a similar track within Amazon’s logistics unit for graduates from MBA programs, which puts young hires on an accelerated course for promotion. Dave Clark, the senior vice president for worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon, is one of 844 people to have gotten their start through that so-called Pathways program."
KC's View:
I'm sure the culture at Amazon takes some getting used to for people who have had military careers, but I also know that Amazon values people with a bias for action. This is all very smart.