AMAZON, CUSTOMER OBSESSION & THE STORIES THAT AREN’T IN THE DATA
Pete Sauerborn, eCommerce CEO and Board Member, (ex-Amazon, ex-McKinsey)
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In this episode, Chris is joined by a friend, former colleague, and mentor from his time at Amazon Marketplace, Pete Sauerborn.
Pete is a seasoned eCommerce leader with impeccable credentials: a VP at Amazon Marketplace, an MBA from Chicago Booth, stints at Apple and McKinsey, and owner of a $300 million P&L at Teleflora.
But what sets Pete apart is his customer obsession. That’s a buzzword, for sure, but there is no better phrase for what guides Pete.
You’ll hear how Pete’s obsession with serving his customers led him to uncover stories at Amazon about real people that didn’t show up in the data. These stories ran counter to the narrative that Pete and his team were using to run the business—and ended up redefining the future of Amazon Marketplace.
Chris and Pete explore:
- The path that took Pete from reviving his brother’s failing paper route as a kid to growing Amazon Marketplace from 15 people to 4,000
- One of Pete’s biggest failures as a leader at Amazon
- How writing Amazon’s famous 1-pagers and 6-pagers forces an intense clarity of thinking
- Why pain is necessary for business transformation
- The time Chris turned himself into a robot
And much more!
Pete Sauerborn is an eCommerce executive and board member with more than 30 years of experience. He is a student of mindful leadership who’s passionate about building automation and management practices to scale large businesses.
Most recently, Pete was the CEO of Catch.com.au, a leading eCommerce marketplace based in Melbourne, Australia. Under Pete’s leadership, Catch expanded its leadership team, doubled revenue to $1.1B, launched new automated fulfillment centers, and expanded its shopping subscription program incorporating the largest physical retailers in Australia.
Prior to Catch, Pete spent a decade leading the scaling of Amazon.com’s Seattle-based 3P Marketplace business from $15B to over $200B, by developing a culture of technology, self-service automation, and a big data machine-learning approach. He identified the trend of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands selling online and spearheaded the development of new programs to help D2C brands grow and thrive on Amazon.
Early in his career, Pete was a consultant at McKinsey & Co based in Los Angeles. He earned a BA from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Pete is a non-executive board director of Trademe.co.nz, the largest online classifieds and marketplace in New Zealand.
- “Why And How Every Company Should Use Amazon’s Six-Page Memo Format” (Forbes)
- Amazon’s Leadership Principles (Amazon)
- “We’ll focus like a laser on Australia”: Catch MD (Inside Retail)
- Australia plays ‘Catch’ up on e-commerce-led warehouse boom (Commercial Real Estate)