Colin Bryar

Former Amazon Executive, Author, and Co-Founder, Working Backwards, LLC
  • Spent more than 12 years at Amazon, working side-by-side with Jeff Bezos as his chief of staff aka "Jeff's shadow" for 2 years
  • Co-author of “Working Backwards” – providing an insider's breakdown of Amazon's approach to culture, leadership, and best practices
  • Takes audiences inside the room and demonstrates how the principles key to “Being Amazonian” can be scaled and applied to any organization

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Colin Bryar is a business advisor and technology leader whose career has focused on optimizing business strategy, technology, and operations. He is a former top-level executive at Amazon, where he spent more than 12 years – much of it in the early aughts during the company’s period of unmatched innovation – serving as a tech VP, leading the operations for, as well as shadowing and working directly with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to help with all aspects of Amazon's business including strategy, technology, and operations.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities’ speakers bureau, Bryar is the co-author of Working Backwards, along with former Amazon executive Bill Carr, which provides an insider's breakdown of Amazon's approach to culture, leadership, and best practices. In the book as well as in his talks, he offers unprecedented access to the Amazon way – illuminating how Amazon’s fourteen leadership principles and company culture focused on customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and operational excellence were instrumental in creating four key Amazon businesses: Kindle, Amazon Prime, Prime Video, and Amazon Web Services. Taking audiences inside the room, Bryar demonstrates how the principles and practices key to “Being Amazonian” can be scaled and applied to any organization.

Bryar joined Amazon in 1998 – four years after its founding – and spent the next 12 years as part of Amazon’s senior leadership team as the company grew from a domestic (US-only) seller of books to a global, multi-dimensional powerhouse and innovator. Bryar served as a technical vice president and for two years was Chief of Staff to Jeff Bezos, aka “Jeff’s shadow,” attending meetings, traveling, and discussing business and life with Jeff. This role gave him a front row seat when the pivotal businesses of Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services, and Kindle came to life and when the uniquely Amazonian working backwards and narrative processes were conceived and adopted. Additionally, Bryar held various roles as a vice president and served as the COO of Amazon's IMDb, where he managed the project management, advertising sales, editorial, business development, and IMDb pro teams.

After Amazon, Bryar and his family relocated to Singapore where he served as the chief operating officer of the e-commerce company RedMart, a Singapore-based online grocery delivery service that was subsequently sold to Alibaba. At RedMart, he was responsible for the company’s software development, commercial, marketing, fulfillment center, transportation, and customer service functions.

Currently, Bryar is the co-founder of Working Backwards, LLC where he coaches and advises executives at both early stages and established companies around the globe, helping them to implement the management practices developed at Amazon. He also serves as an advisor for Singapore-based online marketplace, Carousell. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Operations Research from Cornell University.


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Working Backwards - Insight, Stories, & Secrets from Inside Amazon

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon. In this presentation, long-serving Amazon executive Colin Bryar will reveal and decode the principles and practices that drive the success of one of the most extraordinary companies the world has ever known. With more than 12-years of Amazon experience, working side-by-side with Jeff Bezos for two of them, he offers unprecedented access inside the room as Amazon’s approach to leadership, culture, and best practices were developed, refined, and scaled – providing key analysis and practical steps for applying it at your own organization.

How to Think Like an Amazonian: A Guide to Innovation. Drawing on more than 12 years at Amazon, witnessing first-hand the company’s period of unmatched innovation, Colin Bryar will exclusively reveal how to think like an Amazonian. Shared with audiences for the very first time, he will illuminate Amazon’s fourteen leadership principles that inform decision-making at all levels and reveal the four characteristics that define the company’s culture – customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and operational excellence. Providing insider anecdotes and actionable innovation tactics, Bryar will demonstrate that success on Amazon’s scale is not achieved by the genius of any single leader, but rather through commitment to and execution of a set of well-defined, rigorously-executed principles and practices.


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